"It's sad," Soloway said. "There's this feeling of the binary -- this kind of either/or -- that a lot of people get really attached to, and a lot of people are powered by anger, and looking for a reason to be angry."
Soloway was specifically referring to Smith, who posted an open letter to Glamour magazine Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive, saying the magazine's choice to honor Caitlyn was "insulting" to his late wife's memory.
"If he's wanting the kind of attention around giving [his] wife's award back, it sounds like he's probably just really wanting to express anger to the world," Soloway mused.
"Caitlyn Jenner you do not understand what being a woman is about at all," the former Charmed actress wrote on Facebook. "You want to be a woman and stand with us -- well learn us. We are more than deciding what to wear. We are more than the stereotypes foisted upon us by people like you. You're a woman now? Well f**king learn that we have had a VERY different experience than your life of male privilege."
McGowan later defended her strong stance after receiving criticism for her comments. "Being Caitlyn Jenner is most assuredly not easy, but that doesn't absolve her of her of responsibility," she wrote in a follow-up post. "Living as a woman in this backwards society is hard. We need all hands on deck. Those who have the microphone speak to many. Especially that family."
Soloway explained how Caitlyn's background with the Kardashian family has informed her fashion sensibilities.
"Some trans women are really femme, some trans women are really butch. Everybody's different, and Caitlyn happens to be from a family -- I'm a huge Kardashians fan -- everybody in that family talks about hair and makeup and clothes all the time," she pointed out. "It's their hobby to look good, so that's where Caitlyn comes from. Whether or not she has a right to do that -- of course she has a right to do that. She's a woman. Every woman has a right to be as femme or as not femme as they wish to be."
"It's absolutely awesome that Glamour has honored her," she added. "And I think people are slowly but surely going to come around to the sort of basic facts about trans-ness."
Soloway and Caitlyn are friends; ET caught up with the director in September after she picked up an Emmy for Best Directing for a Comedy for Transparent
, when she dished about their "supportive" friendship.
"We text," Soloway said. "A lot of the women who are on I Am Cait are associated with our show. It's a very small community in Los Angeles, and we're all part of the same group. We all love each other and support each other."