“Pretty Little Liars” Creator Defends Transgender Twist

Truth rating: 10
Pretty Little Liars Transgender

By Shari Weiss

Pretty Little Liars Transgender

(ABC Family)

The creator of “Pretty Little Liars” is defending the surprising transgender twist featured on Tuesday’s finale. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

As Gossip Cop reported, the summer finale featured the big reveal that A/Charles became Charlotte as a teen, and that teen became who viewers already knew as CeCe Drake. While it’s not made clear whether or not CeCe/Charlotte underwent any gender reassignment surgery, she did otherwise transition to living as a female. And that made who everyone thought was Alison and Jason’s brother actually their sister.

In the immediate aftermath of the broadcast, many viewers expressed mixed reaction on social media. Some of the complaints accused creator I. Marlene King of trying to get in on a current wave of transgender stories, and others questioned why the show’s first transgender character had to be series’ big villain. But King is rejecting both criticisms.

Asked by “Entertainment Tonight” about joining the “transgender trend,” King insisted, “Well, we definitely came up with this idea three and a half years ago. I mean, it’s been a long time in the works and if you go back and you watch the CeCe episodes — because I went back and re-watched every single one, and re-read all the scripts to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes in this finale — we’ve told you she is ‘A’ so many times.”

“I’m glad that there is a transgender trend anyways, but we certainly did not jump on the bandwagon. I like that we started it three and a half years ago without knowing it,” said King, who both wrote and directed the key episode. She also answered “not at all” in regards to whether she purposefully wanted the transgender character to be the show’s “devious” one.

King explained, “We tried to be very clear that Charles comes from a very crazy family. Crazy runs in the family, I say, and it just so happens that this person, I think, suffered some tragic consequences of a crazy family, but having nothing to do with [being] transgender.”

King also defended not having a transgender actor in the pivotal role. “I didn’t even know that were was even an awareness of transgender actors at that time,” she told the outlet, referring to when CeCe portrayer Vanessa Ray first joined the show. “This being three and a half years ago, before ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ and before people were even talking about it as openly as they are now.” TELL US: What do you think of King’s explanation?

Enter your email address here to receive daily news updates from us.


  1. Gossip Cop
  2. Mediaite
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. The Mary Sue