Retired Olympic athlete and conservative California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner received backlash Friday for abandoning her campaign to fly down under and film a TV show.
Jenner, 71, who is currently running in the recall race to replace current Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, deserted her campaign team in order to travel to Australia and begin filming for Big Brother VIP.
Big Brother VIP is a celebrity version of the original reality competition show, Big Brother, which follows multiple people, or "houseguests" forced to live in the same house together and complete tasks. They are voted off one-by-one on a weekly basis, and he last remaining contestant wins prize money.
Jenner, who deserted her campaign with only two months left to the election, is facing criticism from voters for showing that her campaign is not a priority to her.
In addition to the filming time required for the show, Jenner also has to quarantine for two weeks per Austrailian Coronavirus safety protocols. This has voters wondering when Jenner will be back to actually work on her campaign.
Before her departure, Jenner took to Twitter to post vague tweets about having to fulfill a "work commitment" she had made prior to starting her campaign:
I am honoring a work commitment that I had made prior to even deciding to run for governor. There is no pause at al… https://t.co/9QpQqSQfnd— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn Jenner) 1626461811.0
My campaign team is in full operation as am I. I am in this race to win for California, because it is worth fighting for.— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn Jenner) 1626462030.0
Upon the discovery that this "work commitment" was actually filming a reality TV show that would pay Jenner $500,000, many people were obviously upset.
@Caitlyn_Jenner "We must save CA!" - Proceeds to leave the state— Philip🏴☠️ (@Philip🏴☠️) 1626462110.0
@Caitlyn_Jenner Fixed it. https://t.co/JoLtZWvmQg— Dan Guglielmucci (@Dan Guglielmucci) 1626533600.0
@Caitlyn_Jenner You know you can’t leave the house or have access to phones?? How does that work??— Irishrygirl (@Irishrygirl) 1626467895.0
Do us all a favor and get out of our Governor Recall! This is a very serious moment for our State and to leave now… https://t.co/F5yWFotdvf— PTSD SURVIVOR❌ (@PTSD SURVIVOR❌) 1626508757.0
Why did you run when you already committed to a reality show? Oh wait…publicity for the SHOW! Oh Caitlyn, you’re so… https://t.co/psOmO4zmLK— Kimberley Johnson (@Kimberley Johnson) 1626494862.0
Additionally, many people--specifically, Aussies--are upset about Jenner's departure because of the Australian lockdown restrictions, as the country is strictly limiting the number of people who can enter the country due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Austrailian COVID protocols only allow 3,000 people, down from 6,500, to enter the country on a weekly basis. Due to this, upwards of 34,000 Aussies are stranded elsewhere, unable to re-enter their home countries.
At this point, it is unclear on whether Jenner's entrance into Australia took and entrance spot away from one of the tens of thousands of displaced Aussies.
Regardless of whether Jenner took an entrance spot away from someone or not, people are still outraged that she would be allowed into the country to film a reality TV show during a pandemic and when there are such a high number of Austrailian citizens who are unable to return home.
Here's what people are saying about it on Twitter:
My wife's flight home to Australia was cancelled today due to the arrival caps but nice to see Caitlyn Jenner (who'… https://t.co/22xAdsCji2— Sam Clench (@Sam Clench) 1626469943.0
@SamClench My sister, husband (both fully vaccinated) and their baby have been trying for months to get a flight ba… https://t.co/HE5msNRGLt— Clea Romeo (@Clea Romeo) 1626473134.0
@SamClench @Asher_Wolf This is heartbreaking for #strandedaussies and a disgusting display of what matters in Oz th… https://t.co/xD8zfnuAWq— AussieLondonder (@AussieLondonder) 1626497982.0
@Caitlyn_Jenner Tens of thousands of Australians stranded overseas awaiting for the opportunity to be re-united wit… https://t.co/Y8M7RqFKDr— Dr John Theodoridis (@Dr John Theodoridis) 1626478136.0
@Caitlyn_Jenner With all due respect Ms Jenner, as an Aussie, Sydney is in the middle of a lockdown. Our own citize… https://t.co/xtm90dgKV2— Larissenach (@Larissenach) 1626481445.0
These are just some in a long line of criticisms Jenner has gotten over the course of her campaign. Whether it's opposing mask mandates, supporting transphobic sports legislation, or supporting for president Donald Trump's reelection, Jenner seems to be garnering backlash left and right.
Before her departure, Jenner appeared on Justice with Judge Jeanine and host Jeanine Pirro asked about Jenner's support of former President Donald Trump and whether she would support his 2024 election should he choose to run again.
Jenner answered that she would indeed support Trump, saying:
"If I was governor of the state of California, obviously, I would support him."
Pirro asked further:
"What if you weren't governor, would you still support him?"
To which Jenner responded:
"Yes, I still would support him...I do not like what's happening in this country right now."
Jenner: Yes, I still would support Trump. I do not like what’s happening in this country right now. https://t.co/Ss6TnffHUl— Acyn (@Acyn) 1626572328.0
Jenner is currently in fourth place and polling at a meager six percent in the California gubernatorial race.
While she could potentially up her chances of winning by actually devoting time to working on her campaign than fly 8,000 miles away to film a reality show, Jenner is convinced that there's no need for her to worry because she's actually in first place.
"Honestly, I'm not concerned about the polling. I guarantee you that I am in the lead."
We will see whether Jenner comes back from the outback to save her sinking ship of a campaign.