You might think fans of a community who traditionally have experienced intolerance might be, say, a little more tolerant themselves. But that’s not so among fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, according to the website, Them.
The Vixen has spoken out about racism among the show’s fans, and Bob the Drag Queen, the winner of season 8 and a Black queen, pointed out in a recent tweet that popularity and race among the show’s queens seem connected.
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“Sometimes Drag Race makes me realize other things about the world. NOT ALL, but a lot of the most popular queens fall into the thin white category. And NO black queens, except @RuPaul, have over a million followers. It’s not the show. It’s the fandom.”
Sometimes Drag Race makes me realize other things about the world. NOT ALL, but a lot of the most popular queens fall into the thin white category. And NO black queens, except @RuPaul, have over a million followers. It's not the show. It's the fandom. pic.twitter.com/ngevUfrSfU
— Bob The Drag Queen (@thatonequeen) June 15, 2018
Bob tweeted those words over screenshots of multiple white queens with a million or more followers, including Sasha Velour, who has 1.1 million followers, and Pearl, who has 1 million.
The website, however, calls out the show’s star, RuPaul, 57, for remaining silent on the issue. RuPaul, the host and producer of Drag Race, did not respond to a tweet asking for a response.
Sure, five out of the nine winners so far have been queens of color, but they often receive racist abuse according to Them.
“Don’t get it wrong – RuPaul is a queer icon who has done an immense amount for the drag culture, and thanks to his pioneering efforts, more people have been introduced to and fallen in love with the beautiful art of drag than ever before,” the essay states.
“RuPaul’s standing as one of the most powerful people in the world of drag brings a responsibility to not only protect the show’s legacy, but its integrity as well. And that integrity has swiftly deteriorated due to RuPaul’s continued silence on the matter, making him complicit in the racism queens experience.”
The essay concludes, “RuPaul is a gay icon whose success is worthy of praise, and Drag Race has taken us a long way, but it’s time to stop turning the other cheek when the dignity of those he claims to be a mother of is at stake.”
RuPaul, born RuPaul Andre Charles, is a native of San Diego. After studying performing arts in Atlanta, he made his way to New York, where he became a star in the Big Apple club scene. His 1993 single “Supermodel (You Better Work)” helped him onto the international scene. In March, RuPaul received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.