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Few panelists courted as much anticipation as Caitlyn Jenner did leading up to her Thursday audience with the Television Critics Association. The 66-year-old reality star has had incredibly scant face time with press since the 2015 public revelation that she’s a transgender woman — offering big interviews only to Diane Sawyer and Vanity Fair.
Jenner’s appearance also came just four days after Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais mocked her 2015 car accident in his opening monologue, a move the comedian has since defended on Twitter. And Jenner quickly addressed, and essentially dismissed, his jokes. “On Ricky, I think what I’m going to do is call the Golden Globes and see if they need a new host for next year,” she said. “We’ll solve that problem … As far as all of the criticism, I do see it. It is tough.”
The obvious exception to Jenner’s relative privacy is her reality show. I Am Cait, which airs on the cable home of Kardashian franchise that’s responsible for the former Olympian’s second wave of fame, ran for eight episodes over the summer of 2015. And while widespread interest brought 2.7 million viewers to the debut, ratings quickly leveled out, averaging just over 1 million for first-run telecasts. That didn’t stop E! from renewing the series. So to promote I Am Cait‘s Mar. 6 return, Jenner offered herself up for a rare Q&A with reporters.
“Every day of my life since I came out, somebody comes up to me,” she said of her reasons to keep doing the show. “All of a sudden, it’s OK to talk about this issue. That is, by far, the most important thing we did in season one … I am not a spokesperson for this community. I am only a spokesperson for me and my story.”
Jenner’s outward identification as a Republican was also a popular topic on the panel — though her answers on the subject did not entertain the crowd as much as her I Am Cait co-star Chandi Moore.
Talk of Keeping Up With the Kardashians also found Jenner adding that she is not forbidden from appearing on the old series — and would be making appearances for events such as her daughters’ birthdays. But she did say that she wanted to draw a line between the series, and make I Am Cait more about transgender issues. The lines are subject to blurring, though.
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