Kimmel asked the TV doctor if he was upset that Jenner, who is reportedly identifying as transgender, was speaking publicly with Diane Sawyer instead of him.
McGraw said he was okay with it, since the interview would be boring: “First off I would say look, if it’s what you want to do, do it! I mean what the hell does it matter what anybody else thinks?”
But then he followed up with questioning why the 65-year-old was even bothering: “That’d be the first 30 seconds, then I guess we’d spend the next hour and 59 minutes saying, You’re almost 80, what’s the point?”
“He’s kind of like, past prime, for like … right?” McGraw said to some audience laughs. Kimmel replied that maybe the gold medal winner was a “champion in bed.” As if transitioning one’s gender identity was about sex, and not about being comfortable with who you are on the inside and outside.
The comments say a lot more about McGraw, who is only one year younger than Jenner, than they say about Bruce Jenner. Both Kimmel and McGraw acknowledged that Jenner is one “hell of a nice guy,” as if that would make up for the ageist, transphobic and sexist remarks. As Deborah Copaken writes here on The Mid, welcome to the indignities of being a middle-aged women.
I doubt that McGraw would think he was too old for sex, especially since men (supposedly) don’t have a “Last Fuckable Day” like women. Someone who makes money off of telling people to live their lives truthfully and with compassion could do a little better with this complicated and human story. There is no expiration date on happiness, something that I am sure McGraw would tell one of his countless TV show guests.
McGraw did clarify his statements to People magazine this morning, saying:
“I’ve said long and loud it’s never too late to make a life change, and I’m personally cheering him on,” he says. “I’m glad he’s decided to set himself free in order to live his life authentically. It’s his life and his body and his decision—more power to him.”
At least the doctor is following his own advice when it comes to apologizing quickly and personally.