Caitlyn Jenner: Would it matter if ESPYs award was part of PR deal?

Would it make any difference to supporters and fans of Caitlyn Jenner if she and her team “negotiated her ESPYs award in exchange for PR plugs in her upcoming TV series” as well as her Diane Sawyer interview — as is being reported by the Daily Mail, which in turn is citing Radar Online, which in turn is citing an unnamed “insider.”

Reports the Daily Mail: “Representatives of Caitlyn Jenner reportedly negotiated her ESPYs award in exchange for PR plugs in her upcoming TV series and threatened to pull out of her 20/20 interview. Reports have emerged that Jenner’s team approached ESPN (which hands out the ESPYs) with the idea that she win the Arthur Ashe Courage Award just as details were being finalized for her 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC. ABC and ESPN are both owned by Disney, and ABC aired Wednesday’s awards ceremony.”

Could it possibly have gone down like that?

Well, yes, it could have, according to one L.A. journalist who spoke to me on condition of anonymity. “That’s how these things go,” the journalist said.

Is there a chance Ms. Jenner would not have received the award otherwise, I asked.

“She might not have even been considered,” the L.A. journalist responded.

To tell you the truth, I had never heard of the ESPYs until this year, when Caitlyn was nominated for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. And I didn’t give them much thought until I came across the Daily Mail article today.

I mentioned it to one my newspaper colleagues, who has a strong background in sports reporting. He shrugged. The ESPYs, and the Arthur Ashe award, aren’t taken seriously in the sports world, he said. They are not significant.

Still, as insignificant as the ESPYs might be, the media in the United States and some outlets in other countries — including Canada — have given this year’s award presentation to Caitlyn Jenner a lot of significant coverage . . . as in all Caitlyn, all the time.

But if the “conjecture,” as the L.A. journalist called the reports, is ever verified, will it make a difference to Caitlyn’s supporters and fans? Will they feel she deceived everybody and somehow set back the transgender “community”? Or will they feel she genuinely deserved the award, anyway, and that she did a good job of using the media coverage to raise awareness about transgender issues?

— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor


“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey


3 thoughts on “Caitlyn Jenner: Would it matter if ESPYs award was part of PR deal?”

  1. I really don’t think it makes a difference. The outcome is that Caitlyn’s coming out received maximum attention which is good for those of us transgender. Negotiating a deal is an everyday business practice. This one attracted assured maximum exposure for Caitlyn on network television. It also enlarged the audience which means higher advertising rates for ABC. The USA is a capitalist country and ESPN holds title to the award.; they can bestow this honour on whomever they wish.


  2. Considering that many of us, myself included, were well aware 5 years ago a “high profile celebrity” was going to make a public transition I hope Caitlyn makes a fortune and has a blast doing it.


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