Caitlyn Jenner boosts ESPY Award ratings to record high | News Entertainment

Caitlyn Jenner boosts ESPY Award ratings to record high

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Friday Night Lights’ Director Slams Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY Award Win.

The first public appearance by Caitlyn Jenner since her transition boosted the ESPY Awards, which aired on ABC for the first time, to predictably larger ratings Wednesday, standing as the night’s top program in both demos and total viewers.“One man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs,” reads the meme. “Guess which man made the cover of Vanity Fair, was praised for his courage by President Obama and is to be honored with the ‘Arthur Ashe Courage Award’ by ESPN?” The man in the photo next to Jenner is U.S. army veteran Gregory D.

The internet was ablaze Thursday after “Friday Night Lights” creator and “Lone Survivor” director Peter Berg took to Instagram to voice his displeasure with Jenner winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs – posting a meme of the former Olympian next to an American soldier with two prosthetic legs. “What he is saying is discriminatory and hurtful,” one user commented. “I’m not going to support that. She is the first transgender person to have ever won the award, using the platform to raise awareness for the struggles that the transgender community faces. This meme is hurtful and there are my appropriate ways of conveying your opinion without trying to hurt others.” Berg’s stance is somewhat surprising given his professional relationship with Friday Night Lights book author Buzz Bissinger. During her speech, she promised ‘‘to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how transgender people are viewed and treated.” ‘‘This transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine,’’ said Jenner, who revealed she was in the process of becoming a woman in a televised interview with Diane Sawyer in April on ABC. ‘‘Trans people deserve something vital, they deserve your respect,’’ she said. ‘‘From that respect comes a more compassionate community.’’ Jenner’s speech was met with a standing ovation from many in the audience.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, which are not affected by time zone differences, the 2015 ESPY Awards averaged a 6.0 household rating, more than triple last year’s telecast on ESPN (1.7) and the best ever for the kudocast, which began in 1993. The selection of Jenner to receive the Ashe award has been controversial, with some suggesting that other athletes were more deserving— and others, like sportscaster Bob Costas, accusing the ESPYs of exploitation and making the selection based on the desire for ratings. Jessica Steindorff, one of the drivers involved in Jenner’s recent fatal car crash, also spoke out against Jenner. “I find it difficult to understand how the culture we live in can honor a person who is responsible for taking a life and injuring several others with both an award and a reality show,” she said.

Some of the users on Twitter who disagreed with ESPN’s decision to honor Jenner noted the athletes they thought were more deserving, such as Lauren Hill, a college basketball player who raised money for research while battling cancer herself. Elsewhere in primetime Wednesday, CBS’ “Big Brother” (1.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) was nearly on par with last week and remained the top series.

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