Fox News announced Thursday that former California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner will join the network as a contributor and appear on Sean Hannity’s show tonight.
The announcement came amid continuing controversy over transgender athletes in competition and new revelations about The Walt Disney Co.’s push to create more LQBTQ characters and to erase gender-specific language from its theme parks.
On one hand, Fox’s decision seems risky, given recent research that shows a majority of conservative Republicans say that acceptance of transgender people like Jenner has been bad for society.
And Fox personality Tucker Carlson, among others, regularly challenges the emergent philosophy that gender can be fluid or chosen; he said last fall that the trans community has “disproportionate power” and said last week that “In 2022, the power of science and literature crumble in the face of the trans lobby.”
But Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist who came out as a trans woman in 2015, aligns politically with conservatives and appeared on “Hannity” last year shortly after entering California’s gubernatorial recall race. She has also appeared on Greg Gutfeld’s Fox show.
Jenner has spoken out against University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas competing on the women’s team. She tweeted praise of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis saying that runner-up Emma Weyant, who came in second after Thomas in a recent meet, was the “rightful winner” of the competition. And she has had positive things to say about former President Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
@GovRonDeSantis agreed! She is the rightful winner! @TMZ It’s not transphobic or anti-trans, it’s COMMON SENSE! https://t.co/RuWBikgWPx— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) March 22, 2022
In fact, Jenner’s popularity quickly waned within the LGBTQ community because of her political views; just a year after coming out, one publication said she had gone from “icon to outcast.”
As such, Fox may seem more of an ideological home for Jenner than MSNBC, and Fox CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement, “Caitlyn’s story is an inspiration to us all. She is a trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community and her illustrious career spans a variety of fields that will be a tremendous asset for our audience.”
While some people on social media hailed the Fox announcement as smart, others expressed disbelief.
@daveweigel fox and conservative media Greg Gutfeld and Tucker Carlson literally pick on transgender people constantly with their culture wars every single day and yet hire caitlyn Jenner. Make it make sense. https://t.co/WEH0ixxzCt— Boo Radley (@JustinRozell) March 31, 2022
Fox said that Jenner’s first appearance as a contributor will be March 31 during the “Hannity” show, which starts at 7 p.m. MDT.