Irish actor Jack Murphy, best known for his character Ryan on Fair City, spoke out against the enormous amount of backlash that Caitlyn Jenner has received since entering the Jungle on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Jack was the first-ever transgender actor to appear in an Irish soap and although he was excited to see Caitlyn share her transition story on such a large platform he said he feared the backlash she would receive as a transgender woman.
Jack’s apprehensions were not unfounded. Mere hours in the Jungle and the internet was full of transphobic, ageist and just plain nasty comments about Jenner. The actor was particularly enraged when he saw that Caitlyn’s deadname was a trending hashtag on Twitter when the first episode of I’m A Celebrity aired on Sunday night.
Speaking to Extra.ie Jack said that he knew “what was coming” saying that he “knew people would slag her for her transgender journey and just give her the usual sh*te.” He said that the experience was very eye-opening and that it was a “good insight” for him to see what kind of people he was friends with on Facebook based on the statuses they were liking and sharing about Jenner.
In response to this, Jack put up a status on his Facebook page saying; “If I see anymore of that on my Facebook, I will delete you off my profile.” He went on to say it made him wonder; “If that’s how they think about her, what do they think about me?”
Jack went onto discuss one of the particularly cruel memes he saw being shared by an individual he was connected with on Facebook and said that he refrained from commenting on the post but angry reacted to the post and said that if he sees anything like that again he will delete the person. The actor was particularly shocked to have seen who had posted it saying; “I didn’t expect that person to be like that.”
Jack praised Jenner for her bravery in participating in I’m A Celebrity as a 70 year-old trans woman when the cameras are on her at all times. He went on to say that; “The people that are giving her hell, they’re horrible people and really don’t get the significance of her being on the show” and said he would love to see her win “not only for herself but for the trans community.”
Jack himself knows how tough it can be being transgender and in the limelight, and he believes that even if some people don’t like Caitlyn, they should still treat her with respect by using her correct name and pronouns and not make transphobic comments about her; “She’s a person with emotions and feelings, she is as human as you and I and as every other person.”
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