"Pretty Little Liars" fans can breathe a sigh of relief: it looks like a message sent out by their social account was a mistake.
On Monday, the official Pretty Little Liars account tweeted -- then deleted -- a transphobic tweet: an image of Alison DiLaurentis from last season where A's identity as her transgender sister Charlotte was still a mystery. The caption? "He. She. It. Charlotte. #PrettyLittleLiars"
The response was swift, fans declaring the interpreted use of "he" and "it" to refer to a trans woman as offensive and rude. Some fans even declared they would stop watching entirely if the pronoun use wasn't a mistake.
Today, show runner Marlene King released a statement on Instagram to clear the air, saying, "The Pretty Little Liars official Instagram account is not run by the shows creators, cast or crew. We too were upset by the post yesterday and we're happy to see that it was removed," also adding in her caption, "I encourage all people to be their true selves. And offer my support to the LBGT community."
In an response to MTV News, an ABC Family representative said 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 ('A'). It was spoken by these characters a season before they found out that 'A' was a transgender character. We updated the reference by including the name Charlotte because it was revealed that Charlotte is 'A.'"
They went on to say that once it was tweeted they realized that it could be misinterpreted, and immediately deleted the tweet.
This isn't the first time there's been a disconnect between the cast, crew, and social media accounts of PLL: In 2013, Ashley Benson slammed the promo team of "Pretty Little Liars" when they released an image of the Liars photoshopped into unrealistic versions of themselves.
"Our faces in this were from 4 years ago.....and we all look ridiculous," Benson said in an Instagram post. "Way too much Photoshop. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It's not attractive."
The lesson here: everyone makes mistakes, even the humans behind your favorite show's Twitter and Instagram. It's up to all of us humans to perhaps think a little harder before we tweet next time, though.