Rachel Paige
August 25, 2015 7:30 am
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Pretty Little Liars has gotten itself into a little bit of trouble, and even Spencer might not be able to think her way out of this one.

For a quick PLL recap — as if you could have forgotten — Big A turned out to be Charles DiLaurentis, who turned out to be CeCe Drake. It’s explained during the big reveal episode, “Game Over, Charles,” that during her stay in Radley Sanatorium, Charles transitioned from male to female. Except that it’s never actually explained, but rather greatly inferred. Basically, CeCe explained her master plan to lil’ sis Alison, but never explained how she wants to gender-identify now.

Which leads us to today, when the PLL Twitter (and Instagram!) tweeted something not OK.

If you follow the PLL Twitter account, you know that they love to share memes. The one they tweeted out yesterday was a quote from the Season 6 episode, “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” where Ali asks, “He’s alive, and he’s coming for us. Isn’t he?” During this episode of the show, the “he” pronoun still pertained to Charles, because we were completely unaware of the CeCe connection. But now in the future, we know that this pronoun is incorrect, and CeCe shouldn’t be known as “he.”

But the real kicker is how the tweet captioned the picture. The now-deleted tweet read: “He. She. It. Charlotte.”

WHOA, WHOA, pump the breaks, PLL. Saying “he” is wrong, saying “she” is correct, and saying “it” is completely unacceptable! At this moment in history, we’re making great strides for transgender rights, and referring to Charlotte as “it” sets all progress back like a billion years. Fans started writing back in outrage, and the tweet was quickly deleted.

ABC Family released a statement to BuzzFeed about the Tweet, and apologized for the insensitivity. They explained that the tweet “was in reference to lines Spencer and Hanna have said in previous episodes venting their frustration about not knowing the identity or gender of their tormentor…It was spoken by these characters a season before they found out that A was a transgender character.”

While a callback to a previous episode is usually good, this one clearly wasn’t the best. Now, knowing that CeCe is transgender — even when referencing a prior episode! — she shouldn’t be labeled as “it.” Somewhere, Hanna is shaking her head and rolling her eyes over this kerfuffle.

PLL‘s showrunner, I. Marlene King (who herself has come under fire as of late) even posted to Instagram apologizing to fans.

It’s a nice gesture. But while the transgender community continues to be widely underrepresented on TV across the board, a mega-popular show with a transgender character should be doing whatever it can to properly portray that character, and get all their facts right. Hopefully more progress is made when CeCe returns to the show for Season 6B.

(Image via ABC Family/Eric McCandless.)