“Star Trek: Into Darkness” star Alice Eve sparked backlash Tuesday when she said Bruce Jenner is “playing at being a ‘woman.'”
The British actress made the comments in two posts on Instagram that she has since deleted from her account.
“If you were a woman no one would have heard of you because women can’t compete in the decathlon,” Eve wrote according to the BBC. “”You would be a frustrated young athlete who wasn’t given a chance.”
“Until women are paid the same as men, then playing at being a ‘woman’ while retaining the benefits of being a man is unfair,” Eve also wrote. “Do you have a vagina? Are you paid less than men? Then, my friend, you are a woman.”
Fans immediately began bombarding Eve over the comments. One fan wrote, ” I’ve always adored you, but I can honestly say I’ll be avoiding your work from now on. I have a trans sibling and no amount of apologies can make up for what you said.”
After she deleted the posts, Eve put up a new picture of David Bowie as his androgynous Ziggy Stardust persona with the words, “I am a supporter of anyone who wishes to explore their gender identity. Sometimes language doesn’t express the idea of identity sufficiently, as in this case. I am also a believer in equal rights for all…Whatever your race, colour [sic], or creed.”
Eve has since issued an apology. It reads:
“I deeply apologize for offending anyone. I support equal rights and equal dignity for all. I have deep compassion and support for Bruce Jenner.My intention was not to offend. My intention was simply to express that, with the overdue and welcome acceptance of us all living on a gender spectrum, we must encourage equality for all.”
Jenner made national news last week when he told Diane Sawyer that he is transgender. The interview broke a number of records, including becoming the most tweeted Friday telecast of all time. According to Nielsen Social, a total of 8.1 million people in the U.S. saw one or more of the 972,000 tweets sent about the 2-hour special, “Bruce Jenner – The Interview .”
The interview was also a major ratings success for ABC. It scored a remarkable 5.2 rating/17 share in the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers, and a 6.4/18 in the key news demo. Those numbers represent the best performance for “20/20” since March 17, 2000.