I HATE the word “controversial”
I know it’s bad form to start a rant with a dictionary definition, but here we go:
con·tro·ver·sial: giving rise or likely to give rise to public disagreement. (source)
Which is fine as far as it goes, but the way it’s usually used is as a weasel word so a news source doesn’t have to say that someone is acting like a bigot or worse. Are racist remarks controversial? In that calling them out will give rise to a public disagreement between racist apologists and people who can look at racism and say “that’s bullshit”.
It’s used instead of calling something what it is: sexist, homophobic, transphobic, victim-blaming, racist speech.
Is it controversial when one person denies the basic humanity of another person? I guess it is, but there are other, better, more accurate words for it.
"Controversial" the "both sides do it" fallacy distilled to a single word.
"Controversial" is a cowardly word to hide behind so we won’t upset the bullies even more. But like all methods of placating bullies, it is bound to fail. The only way to win is to stand up to them.