Though The Hills was a cherished gem among the crop of MTV reality shows in the mid-2000s, it’s been largely absent from the popular consciousness since it concluded in 2010--until now. This week, the reboot series The Hills: New Beginnings premiered, featuring the return of old favorites--and the emergence of new controversy, with star Brody Jenner drawing ire for the way he spoke about his father, Caitlyn Jenner.
Brody and Caitlyn have long had a strained relationship, according to BuzzFeed, with Caitlyn admitting that she was absent for most of Brody’s childhood. The pair dealt with this in episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, with Brody calling out his dad for not being there for him growing up. Though they began to rebuild their relationship when she transitioned in 2015, Caitlyn declined to attend her son’s wedding in 2018 in favor of a “lucrative business event,” leaving him “deeply hurt.”
Controversy emerged, however, after Brody misgendered Caitlyn during a conversation in this episode of The Hills. “My dad, he also became a woman—don’t want to forget about that one,” Brody said. "I had been dating Kaitlynn Carter for four and a half years, and my dad came out and said that he wanted to be called Caitlyn. Two Caitlyns."
As BuzzFeed notes, many viewers reacted poorly to Brody’s comments, with some calling him “a tool” and “a pile of trash” for misgendering his father.
Brody Jenner remains a pile of trash + seems to really enjoy purposely misgendering Caitlyn Jenner.— aaron, a hate crime doer (@theyshootactors) June 25, 2019
Though Caitlyn was generally lax about her pronouns in the months following her transition--Kendall, Kylie, and clearly Brody Jenner all refer to Caitlyn as “dad”--BuzzFeed notes that GLAAD points out that it is often insensitive to refer to a transgender person by the incorrect pronouns, even when referring to them in the time before they transitioned. This is due to the fact that many transgender individuals express that, regardless of the gender they performed or the pronouns they used, they have always been a particular gender on some level.
As for us, we’re glad to see that there’s a level of decorum being kept about pronoun usage--even in a relationship as fraught as Caitlyn and Brody’s, it’s still important to keep certain standards.