Peter Berg Tries To Explain Caitlyn Jenner Criticism, But Controversy Won’t Go Away

Peter Berg is trying to explain his criticism of Caitlyn Jenner, saying his remarks critical of her ESPY award were not meant to be transphobic.

But many aren’t buying it, and the Friday Night Lights director is still finding a lot of criticism online.

Berg had posted a picture to his Instagram account showing a picture of Caitlyn Jenner side-by-side with a picture of an Army veteran and double amputee, a man who appeared in Berg’s film Battleship.

He also included a message critical of Caitlyn Jenner being selected to win the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this year’s ESPY Awards.

He wrote (via, “One man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs. 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 post was met with an almost immediate backlash, with many accusing Peter Berg of transphobia for targeting Caitlyn Jenner. But Berg went online again in an attempt to explain the post, saying he wasn’t going after Jenner but rather trying to bring more attention to the sacrifices made by America’s veterans.

“I have the utmost respect for Caitlyn Jenner and I am a strong supporter of equality and the rights of trans people everywhere. I also believe that we don’t give enough attention to our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country and our principals- principals that include the freedom to live the life you want to live without persecution or abuse.”

But many still aren’t buying the excuse. Peter Berg is still facing criticism online, and even members of the military are calling him out. In a letter to Task & Purpose, U.S. Marine Zach Iscol wrote that there are plenty of veterans getting attention for their sacrifices, adding, “We don’t have a monopoly on courage.”

“I also find it a bit disingenuous that someone who made millions off a blockbuster about heroes would then turn around and say we don’t celebrate our military heroes enough in this country,” Iscol wrote. “That’s total bull***t. An annual Gallup poll consistently ranks the military as the most respected institution in America. And if you’ve been to any sports game recently, I guarantee an orgy (even when Uncle Sam is paying for it) of military affection.”

Peter Berg is not the first person in trouble for criticizing Caitlyn Jenner. Others have made questionable remarks online, including Jenner’s onetime son-in-law Kris Humphries.

[Picture by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]