Dr. Phil Jokes About Bruce Jenner's Alleged Transition, But It's Insulting & Nothing To Be Laughed About — UPDATE
Dr. Phil is in some major hot water. While chatting with Jimmy Kimmel, Dr. Phil talked Bruce Jenner allegedly coming out as transgender. At first, the psychologist had some supportive words to say about the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, but, sadly, the conversation took a bad turn when Dr. Phil thought it'd be OK to joke about Jenner's reported transition. Basically, the talk show host doesn't get why Jenner would come out now, because he's so old. Dr. Phil's words are as follows:
(Update: In an exclusive statement released to People, Dr. Phil clarified his comments about Jenner. He said, "Bruce and I have known each other casually for a while and we're around the same age. I've said long and loud it's never too late to make a life change, and I'm personally cheering him on. I'm glad he's decided to set himself free in order to live his life authentically. It's his life and his body and his decision — more power to him.")
You're almost 80, what's the point? This is a theoretical exercise, right? I don't know. He's kind of past prime for like... right?
First of all, Jenner is 65 years old, not 80. Second of all, I might not be some famous psychologist who helps people on a daily basis, but who says there's an expiration date on being true to yourself and living your life happily? Age is just a number. Whether you're getting married at 80, having a baby at 65, coming out at 90, who cares? No matter your age, everyone should be allowed to live their life as they see fit.
The conversation about Jenner began when Kimmel asked how Dr. Phil felt about Jenner sitting down with Diane Sawyer instead of with him. Dr. Phil did seem generally supportive of Jenner's decision. In response to Kimmel's Diane Sawyer question, the talk show host said,
It would be boring to talk to me about that. First off, I would say, "Look. If it's what you want to do... do it! What the hell's it matter what anybody else thinks?" That would be my point.
He even added that Jenner is "a hell of a nice guy." Those are the kinds of responses I can get on board with — but definitely not the jokes.
For Jenner, not only does it have to be difficult constantly being in the public eye, but to be under so much scrutiny has to be stressful and emotional. When people, like Dr. Phil, comment on Jenner's life and make light of his situation, whether he is planning on coming out as transgender or not, it only makes it that much more taxing. Plus, Dr. Phil is setting the wrong example with his insensitive comments. Jenner should be receiving support and not jokes, whether people mean them or not.
Editors Note: Until/unless Jenner has personally confirmed the transgender rumors and the intention to begin presenting as a woman, Bustle will continue to refer to the track star as a man and father, using male pronouns. Jenner deserves the courtesy of being able to “tell his story his way” when ready, as step-daughter Kim said, and Bustle will only make those changes if/when Jenner confirms.