Clint Eastwood is ruffling feathers again. The 85-year-old actor and director put his foot in his mouth in a big way while introducing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the 2015 Guys’ Choice Awards on Spike TV Saturday.
While delivering his introduction speech, Eastwood reportedly compared Johnson to several other athletes who ditched their athletic careers in favor of the big screen. His list included “Jim Brown and Caitlyn somebody,” alluding to Olympian Bruce Jenner-turned-reality star Caitlyn Jenner, who until June 1, was living publicly as a man. According to E! News, Spike TV’s senior vice president of communications, David Schwartz, has confirmed that the joke will be cut from the show when it airs on June 18.
Eastwood isn’t the first to joke about Jenner’s transition. Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell found himself in hot water last week after tweeting that he would continue to call the 65-year-old Jenner by her former name. He attempted to justify his comments, saying he only wanted to preserve Jenner’s legacy as an Olympian, but it wasn’t enough. Outraged Twitter users continued to slam the 28-year-old actor. Finally, days later, he issued an apology.
Chris Brown and Snoop Dogg have also recently made public digs at Jenner. Both rappers shared a photo on Instagram suggesting that the media should give more attention to rapper Akon, who “is about to supply 600 million Africans with solar power,” rather than “that science project.” Despite backlash from Twitter users and fellow celebrities, neither has made a public retraction.
Neither Eastwood nor Johnson has addressed Eastwood's comment. The WWE star-turned-actor did, however, take to Instagram to thank the film legend for presenting him the Hero Award as well as to share an announcement with fans. According to Johnson's post, his production company, 7 Bucks Productions, along with Spike TV, will be launching a variety show titled “Rock the Troops.” The program will aim “to entertain U.S. troops who are stationed overseas.” That show will be airing on Veterans Day 2016.
Be sure to tune in to the 2015 Guys’ Choice awards on Spike for that announcement and more on June 18.