Ashlee Marie Preston is our new hero. First she confronts Caitlyn Jenner at a Trans Chorus of Los Angeles event, and now she’s taking TMZ‘s Harvey Levin to task.
When TMZ's third attempt at making me look bad fails so horribly, they scrub the site of my TMZ Live segment as if it…
According to Preston’s Facebook post, TMZ covered Preston’s confrontation with Jenner three times. The first was a brief piece that was definitely pro-Jenner in its tone. They even said “Caitlyn isn’t down with Trump anymore, despite being seen rocking his headgear.”
TMZ also asked Preston to do an exclusive interview via FaceTime. They cut her interview down to a minute and a half, and the text of the article is still dismissive towards Preston.
Finally, they invited Preston onto TMZ Live. Preston claims they hoped they could catch her off guard and trip her up on live TV. Instead, she gave a great interview and stood up for herself and her beliefs.
TMZ removed the video of Preston on TMZ Live from their website. However, Preston’s friends DVR’d the episode and sent the video to her.
In the segment, TMZ Live hosts Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere introduce the video of Preston calling out Jenner.
From there, they welcome Preston to the show. Preston gives more background on the incident. Jenner’s appearance was a surprise; Preston and a major donor to the event were told that Jenner was uninvited.
Levin brings up that Jenner’s recent disavowal of Trump again, asking why Preston believes that Jenner still supports him. Preston says that regardless of what she’s said about Trump, Jenner still supports his ideology. She also says Jenner is tone-deaf to the experiences of trans women of color — and people of color in general.
Preston mentions Jenner recently wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap and Levin quickly brings up that Jenner apologized claiming she didn’t realize the slogan was on the cap. Considering that people wearing blank red hats have been confused for Trump supporters, we don’t really buy it. Preston doesn’t either; we’re living for the moment when she rolls her eyes at Levin.
She then explains the reason why the trans community doesn’t trust Jenner.
“The problem the transgender community has with Caitlyn Jenner is that she came into our community to make us into an extension of the Kardashian brand. She tried to co-opt the trans rights movement and make it into this extension of something that it isn’t. And she didn’t include the people who have actually been out here in the community advocating and doing all this work for many years. She never officially apologized to the trans community for what she actually did during the campaign trail. All she really did was really reach into her bra and take out change and throw it at us and expect for us to forgive her. And that’s not how you do things. That’s not how community accountability works.”
From there, Levin brings up his connection with the Los Angeles LGBT Center — then bringing up the old saw about, “Shouldn’t people be allowed to have different views?” asking if it’s paradoxical if trans people seeking tolerance aren’t willing to tolerate other people’s viewpoints (basically a re-hash of the tired “Why don’t you tolerate my intolerance?” argument).
Latibeaudiere chimes in with asking if Preston would be willing to teach Caitlyn. Firstly, it’s a classic “sealioning” approach to ask people of oppressed communities to do all the emotional labor to educate other privileged people instead of putting that onus on the questioner.
But in addition to that, Preston puts the lie to Jenner’s original claim in the confrontation video when Jenner said, “You don’t know me.” Previously we thought Preston’s comeback that she did know her was just because of Jenner’s reality TV empire. But as it turns out, Preston knows Jenner personally.
“I do know Caitlyn Jenner. And I have had several conversations with Caitlyn Jenner. And, in fact, I myself took backlash from community members when I still befriended Caitlyn Jenner after she had made the decision to endorse the Republican Party. I said because she’s new in transition, she doesn’t know who she is. So the same way that she evolved in self expression, she’s evolving with her political beliefs and views. So I took a swing at it. But the thing is that, you will not continue to insert yourself in the same spaces that are designated for the people that are harmed by your decisions.”
At the end of the segment, both Levin and Latibeaudiere look deflated. Latibeaudiere offers his thanks and remarks, “There doesn’t seem to be any bridging that gap there.” Levin, then tosses to a commercial break and teases the next segment.
Photo via Ashlee Marie Preston’s Facebook