Picture this. You’re a tween in 2004. The Nickelodeon comedy lineup is one of the best parts of your life. Drake and Josh, no doubt, is your favorite show. You might even have a huge crush on Drake Bell, who played one of the titular characters, Drake Parker. Maybe you downloaded Bell’s two most famous songs, “Found a Way” and “Makes Me Happy.” As a happy-go-lucky, 2004 tween, things were great.
But things changed in 2015. You’ve changed. Bell has changed. And maybe you’re not such a fan of what he has to say now.
Earlier this week, the news broke that Bruce Jenner is no longer. Her name is Caitlyn Jenner. While lots of people, celebrities included, were in massive support of Jenner, some people seemed quite transphobic. Bell was among those tweeters. On the day the news broke, he tweeted, “Sorry… still calling you Bruce.” This was quite insensitive considering the fact that Bruce Jenner isn’t a person. Her name is Caitlyn. And lots of people tore into Bell about it.
Initially, Bell tried to justify his words, saying that he wanted to remember Jenner’s success as an athlete in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. But just because her name is really Caitlyn doesn’t mean her athletic prowess is discounted. Bell quickly thereafter deleted the controversial tweet and on Thursday, posted an official apology on Twitter. Bell remarked that he did not meant to “hurt or demean” anyone in a situation like Jenner’s, and he “deeply regret[s] the negative effect” his words had on people who read them.