Candis Cayne on Caitlyn Jenner: ‘Is She a Perfect Spokesperson? No’

“I Am Cait” co-star talks to TheWrap about the growing backlash against Jenner and the show’s declining ratings

Candis Cayne is thrilled to be part of a groundbreaking reality series about a transgender superstar — but even she admits nobody’s perfect.

Cayne is a supporting cast member on E!’s “I Am Cait,” whose star, Caitlyn Jenner, has been on the receiving end of intense backlash of late thanks to her conservative political views.

“We were frustrated because Caitlyn is so new at this that she doesn’t realize the impact that these right-wing conservatives have towards the LGBT community,” Cayne told TheWrap. “Is she the perfect spokesperson? No. But who is?”

Jenner, a self-described Republican, had recently come out in support of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, offering to become Cruz’s “trans ambassador.” She even called Hillary Clinton a “fucking liar.”

That didn’t sit well with many in the trans community, who believe Jenner is out of touch with the struggles of every day transgender Americans.

Cayne spoke to TheWrap about Jenner’s controversial remarks, why she decided to endorse Hillary Clinton and the show’s recent dip in ratings.

Your show has been under fire lately following Jenner’s comments. You seemed pretty upset on the show. Are you angry too?
We were frustrated because Caitlyn is so new at this that she doesn’t realize the impact that these right-wing conservatives have towards the LGBT community… For me it’s alarming that all these people who were praising Caitlyn for so many months have turned on her so quickly. Give her a chance to catch up with herself and with her mouth… She’s still putting a megaphone to the rest of the world and I’m a part of a show that has aired in 153 countries who are being introduced to our world, which is incredible.

Jenner said she wanted to be “trans ambassador” for Ted Cruz, the same guy who told a conservative radio host in November that allowing “boys, with all the God-given equipment of boys” to share a shower room with girls was “lunacy.”
Wait just a second. The guy [sic] who interviewed her asked her, “What do you think of Cruz?” She said, “I like the guy.” He then asked her if she wanted to be his “trans ambassador.” She said that if he gets elected, of course we need somebody in there to try to talk some sense into him. I’m not sticking up for her comment — believe me, I disagree with her — but we have to be fair here. At the end of the day this is a human being that’s done a lot of good for our community.

[Editor’s note: TheAdvocate.com’s article about Jenner was by Dawn Ennis, not a male journalist. And a representative for Advocate.com told TheWrap in a statement: “We did check the tape, and while we can’t be responsible for how other media outlets have described our interview, it’s accurately reported in The Advocate’s story by Dawn Ennis.” In response to TheWrap’s article, TheAdvocate.com posted video of Ennis’ interview:

Are you worried people might turn on you because you’re on her show?
Most of the girls, including myself, have been fighting for our rights for 20 years or more. We stand up for what we believe. If someone wants to turn on me because they don’t like Cait’s political views, then I wholeheartedly believe it’s not me — it’s on them.

You endorsed Hillary Clinton over the weekend. Were you trying to make a point?
I had been a Hillary supporter on the bus [tour on the show] and people kept asking me who I was supporting and I thought, “You know what? This is the perfect time for me to say: This is who I am.”

What do you say to those who think Jenner doesn’t understand the community and therefore can’t be a good role model?
Is she the perfect spokesperson? No. But who is? Because of her status, because of her wealth, because of her standing in the world, she literally, with one tweet, changed the fabric of the world. Millions of people in all continents suddenly know what trans is. I know Cait. I know she’s a good person. I know she wakes up every day and thinks, what can I do for the community?

Candis Cayne on Caitlyn Jenner: 'Is She a Perfect Role Model? No'

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The ratings for the show are down this season. Are you worried? And do you think some of the decline has to do with Jenner’s comments?
Of course you want viewers. I know some people aren’t tuning in because they think it’s a fluff show, but we’re doing a lot of good… So, it’s a really important thing to remember that this show, as much as it’s fun and humorous, is doing a lot.

Anything you want to say to critics of your show?
I would say listen guys, I get it. I understand that you might feel like she’s not the right spokesperson for the community. But give it a chance and realize that this show is shining a light on all these organizations that were barely getting by before.