This Is Why Jimmy Fallon Calling Hunter Schafer “Bud” Sparked A Whole Load Of Discourse

An off-hand comment during Hunter’s appearance on The Tonight Show last week has sparked a whole load of social media discourse.

On Friday, Hunter Schafer was one of the guests on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, with the star stopping by to promote her new movie, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Hunter Schafer smiling as she poses by the logo for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

During her appearance on the show, Jimmy brought up the fact that Hunter has been a fan of The Hunger Games franchise since she was a child.

Hunter sitting and speaking to Jimmy

As the host held up a photo of her in a capitol-inspired Halloween costume as a kid, Hunter explained: “For Halloween, I was obsessed with how the capitol people were in costume and made my own costume.”

Hunter Schafer and Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy enthusiastically replied: “Oh bud, it’s unbelievable! This is really cool, now you’re in Hunger Games — as a capitol person!”

Hunter as a child dressed up for Halloween on the left and Hunter on the poster for The Hunger Games on the right

“It’s crazy,” Hunter agreed, with Jimmy then holding up a promo photo of her in character for the movie, and saying: “Look at you! Congratulations, bud!”


Hunter Schafer made her own @The Hunger Games costume for Halloween when she was younger. #FallonTonight #HungerGames #HunterSchafer

♬ original sound - FallonTonight
TikTok @fallontonight / NBC / Via

But some viewers took issue with Jimmy’s choice of language in the exchange, and called him out for it on social media.

Hunter Schafer and Jimmy Fallon

While Hunter did not seem at all bothered by it, others thought that it was inappropriate for Jimmy to call her “bud” during the interview.

Closeup of Jimmy Fallon

In case you didn’t know, Hunter is transgender, and it was argued that the term has masculine connotations.

Closeup of Hunter Schafer

In a now-deleted tweet that was captured by BuzzFeed, an offended viewer shared a TikTok video of the moment to X — formerly known as Twitter — and wrote: “jimmy fallon calling hunter schafer ‘bud’ I am going to [redacted].”

Screenshot from X

The tweet had been seen 1.5 million times in less than 24 hours, and racked up thousands of likes and retweets, with many sharing their agreement in the quote-tweets.

Closeup of Hunter Schafer

“As if i didn’t have reason enough to hate Fallon, he takes this opportunity to show that he doesn’t see Hunter as the beautiful, immaculate queen sitting before him,” one person claimed. “To my cis readers, i hope you don’t see this as an overreaction — bud/buddy is unquestionably male-coded.”

Twitter @thearae60 / Via Twitter: @thearae60

“A slight minority of people might say it in a gender neutral way. But you obviously know it’s used exclusively for men most the time,” someone else wrote. “Even if Hunter isn’t bothered, it’s still gross and telling of how Fallon views trans women.”

Twitter @dollarnuftynuf / Via Twitter: @dollarnuftynuf

“I literally cant stand it when people call me bud. It’s so degrading and it really shows that they dont see me (or hunter or any trans woman rly) as a woman!! Bud isnt something you say to girls im sorry,” another user agreed.

Twitter @annelisemako / Via Twitter: @annelisemako

“You can't tell me with a straight face that Jimmy Fallon wouldn't have used girl instead of bud if it had been a cis actress instead of Hunter Schafer,” one more claimed.

“You can't tell me with a straight face that Jimmy Fallon wouldn't have used girl instead of bud if it had been a cis actress instead of Hunter Schafer"

But others were quick to point out that, actually, Jimmy has often called women “bud” over the years.

Closeup of Jimmy Fallon

In a pre-show TikTok from Taylor Swift’s appearance on The Tonight Show, Jimmy can be seen knocking on her dressing room door and saying: “Hey bud! So excited, 10 minutes to show time!”


It feels like a perfect night. @Taylor Swift #RedTaylorsVersion

♬ original sound - Jimmy Fallon
TikTok @fallontonight / Via

And in interviews, Jimmy has called everybody from Selena Gomez to Drew Barrymore “bud” over time. He is also known to use other gender neutral or male-coded terms of endearment, including calling Ariana Grande “pal” and Jennifer Lawrence “dude” and “man.”

Selena Gomez and Jimmy Fallon

“He's literally called taylor swift and ariana grande (two cisgender women) bud before and this is no different???” one person tweeted in Jimmy’s defense. “I would get it if hunter was uncomfortable but she dgaf.”

Twitter @hasansglasses / Via Twitter: @hasansglasses

“Not to defend jimmy fallon but he calls everyone bud or buddy especially younger women,” one more tweeted.

Twitter @adatarg / Via Twitter: @adatarg

“When i saw the original tweet i thought they meant that they were upset that jimmy thought he was cool enough w hunter/close friends w her to call her bud i didn't even register it as a gender thing,” another admitted.

Twitter @3amest / Via Twitter: @3amest

Somebody else wrote: “If hunter herself had an issue & felt misgendered by this, i’d rally behind her. But i’ve only ever heard this term used in a gender neutral way. I’ve called friends of all genders this &, as a cis woman, have been called bud by friends of all genders-cis & trans alike, too!”

Twitter @cassandracl0ver / Via Twitter: @cassandracl0ver

Hunter does not appear to have been bothered by Jimmy’s off-hand comment, and neither she nor him have acknowledged the discourse.

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