Watch CNN's Chaotic Caitlyn Jenner Panel With Crystal Wright & Zoey Tur, As Told By Don Lemon's Reactions
Kim Kardashian didn't break the Internet — Caitlyn Jenner broke the Internet. Following Monday's reveal of the anticipated Vanity Fair cover featuring the one-time Olympian, Jenner's transition is all bloggers, activists, talking heads and even politicians can talk about about, though it's not always the sharpest commentary. A recent CNN panel discussing Jenner's transition got a bit heated when transgender reporter Zoey Tur and conservative pundit Crystal Wright argued over Jenner's newfound status as an icon for the transgender movement.
CNN's Don Lemon brought Tur, an Emmy-winning news reporter who publicly announced her transition in 2014, Wright of the blog Conservative Black Chick, and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton onto his show Tuesday night to dissect Jenner's Vanity Fair cover and how it'll impact transgender activism. The Vanity Fair cover, which has yet to hit newsstands but was posted online on Monday, is the first public photograph of Jenner following her transition.
Tur said that, so far, she was "not real impressed" with the way Jenner was positioning herself in the movement, saying the Vanity Fair reveal felt like "a roll-out of a product." Tur continued: "It is a statement. It is a product. And this is a continuation of the Kardashian line."
Hilton countered, stating that Jenner can't represent the whole transgender movement just like he and Lemon are not representative of the entire gay movement. "I think, for the trans community, there needs to be more visibility," Hilton said. "[We need] more change, the more dialogue we have in households where real hearts and minds are going to be open."
It was a very pleasant conversation until Wright stepped in — and then it got dicey. "I don't care what Bruce Jenner is. I don't care what Bruce Jenner calls himself," Wright said. "I think Bruce Jenner is doing this for Bruce Jenner. ... I particularly don't think it's going to help young people really struggling."
She echoed Tur, calling Jenner's transition a "product" she's selling for the newsstands. But then Wright overstepped some boundaries, according to Tur and Lemon.
"You know what my mom said today? 'So what’s next?'” Wright asked. “Black people, we’re going to all of a sudden start bleaching our skin because we don’t like being black? And we're going to do this, we're going to be on the cover of Vanity Fair."
Lemon's reaction, truly, was the best response.
Lemon pointed out that many people already use bleaching products on their skin, so what was Wright's point? She countered, "[Not] to the degree of Michael Jackson."
To which Lemon went like this...
Wright continued, saying conservative pundit Erick Erickson, who wrote about Caitlyn Jenner on the website Red State, had a point. "If a black person, all of a sudden, said, 'I just don't think I'm black anymore,'everybody would go, 'What?'"
And that's when Lemon looked like this...
(Don Lemon really does react for us all.)
Wright also criticized Lemon for not "having a problem" with Jenner profiting off the Vanity Fair cover and forthcoming reality show about her life as a trans woman, despite the fact that Lemon recently criticized the Duggar family, who also have a reality TV show. "Wow," Lemon said. "Wow."
"I do not have a problem with the Duggars making money," Lemon said. "I have a problem with child molestation. That's an issue."
Tur later calmly attacked Wright for "conflating gender dysphoria with ... publicity-seeking behavior." She also said Wright was "obviously a narcissist."
Obviously, said Don Lemon. (Just kidding, he actually asked Tur to not "name-call" anybody on his show.)
You can watch the full 12-minute segment below.
Images: screenshots/CNN, Getty Images