Sherry Pie Faces Numerous Claims Of Allegedly Impersonating A Casting Director With Malicious Intent
Whoa! Okay, so we all know that each year, when the RuPaul’s Drag Race Drag Draft comes out, we get to pick and choose our favorites. The show can divide the gay community worse than the Democratic Primary. But, whether you were a Sharon Needles fan or cheered for Alaska 5000, we’re all the same, gagging for a man in a dress, so it’s not that serious … until it is.
There’s been a handful of seriously “less than smart” mishaps from the Drag Race Alumni in the past. Remember Robbie Turner lied about being in a car wreck for attention? Or AJA not comprehending you shouldn’t make out in a stranger’s vehicle while in a Lyft and claim homophobia afterwards? Silky Nutmeg Ganache was put through the ringer when malicious allegations came at her last season. In the current airing season of RPDR, we’ve already had two queens, Dahlia Sin and Aiden Zhane, be accused of transphobia. Well, none of those previous scandals may top the most recent allegation that takes objectifying, sexual misconduct, and catfishing to a whole ‘nother level. Let’s dive in!
In a Facebook post this week, musical theater actor, Ben Shimkus, is making claims that current season twelve contestant, Sherry Pie, led him to believe she was a casting director in order to receive sexually charged videos from him. Shimkus’ social media post with his allegations is long, so let me break it down for you: Shimkus met Sherry as they were attending the same college and they became friends – Sherry introduced him to Drag Race. After Sherry graduated, a third-party friend gave Shimkus a contact of a possible casting director named Allison Mossey, who instantly took a liking to Shimkus’ look and performance. Mossey asked Shimkus to send several example videos, some of a sexually charged nature, something Shimkus was a little weary of, but he admitted he was a naïve twenty-one year old at the time and didn’t know any better. Allegedly, Mossey sent emails back and forth with Shimkus promising him the world. Then, the conversation went dry, but soon Shimkus connected with the prestigious Playwrights Horizons company (where trial runs of many Broadway Shows are hosted), a place where Mossey allegedly worked for. To Shimkus’ disappointment, none of the Playwrights employees there had heard of Allison Mossey. Upon circling back to the third-party friend who was also in talks with Mossey, they came to realize they had been catfished by Mossey. Who referred them to Mossey? It was SHERRY PIE. Sherry maintained Mossey was a real person and didn’t waver from her account that Mossey is a friend of hers. Scary!
After figuring our that the catfishing had happened and included the Sherry Pie connection, Shimkus then shared his story with his network of friends in the theater industry. Sadly, a colleague told him another person who befriended Sherry had the exact same story … with the same Allison Mossey. Shimkus realized the videos he created were not going to be used to further his acting career, but are now most likely in the spank bank of a sexual pervert’s iCloud. Overall, he proclaimed this experience with Sherry and the alleged Allison Mossey has given him severe emotional trauma that he still has not recovered from. Shimkus is aware Sherry is about to have a huge platform and is nervous for others now that the pool of her prey has gotten larger because she is on Drag Race – where she’ll grow her social media presence to a million followers or more. That’s a lot of videos for Allison Mossey to gain.
I’m nosey as all hell and you can call me the flamboyant, low budget Lois Lane. At first, I genuinely thought Sherry was (and I’m being generous) forty-something-years old and this was almost a casting-couch/Bryan Singer– type of situation. It turns out, she’s twenty-seven, only two years older than the now 25-year old than Shimkus. After analyzing and reading Shimkus’ bold statement, I had some boxes left unchecked on his credibility. With support, I reached out to Shimkus, trying to find out more regarding his allegations and he was willing to answer some clarifying questions … and he left no room for doubt. Let’s begin!
Mickey Keating: I’m ignorant and haven’t been to a Broadway Show in New York, so I’m kind of left out of the loop – but I have seen Samantha’s younger boyfriend in Sex and the City gain fame after his nude one-man show. But the sexually-natured videos… is that normal for theater? Is that what you were thinking these would be? Were you nude in any of the audition videos or was it just simulation?
Ben Shimkus: Sex is a common topic on stage, so at the time I didn’t really question it. What I have learned from this is that if the audition doesn’t clearly state that the role is sexually suggestive, then that’s a big red flag if it becomes sexual. My audition tapes weren’t in the nude. I just thought that everything was weirdly sexual. I tried to lean in to it a few times to pretend I was okay with it, and did an audition take shirtless.
MK: Was this your first time talking to a manager or agent or casting director or whatever Allison Mossey was claiming to be? Is that why you let the excitement get to you and went along with it beforehand? I know everyone is naïve until they become jaded – and it’s for stories like yours that this happens.
BS: At this point I had spoken to artistic directors at small theaters. The jump to Playwrights Horizons was massive. I was going to do anything to take that leap career wise.
MK: Wow, so someone who is in the musical theater industry would know that Playwrights Horizons is a big deal. It’s almost like you then have to know it is someone in your industry or severely in the know, because I can guarantee you the Average Joe and Beercan Betty – and myself – haven’t heard of that school. But, let’s take it back: What was your immediate reaction when no one at Playwright’s Horizon had ever heard of Allison Mossey? What about when your friend told you he also spoke to the alleged Mossey?
BS: My first reaction to Playwrights not knowing anything was shame. That I had sent these videos to some random person. After that I felt the shame even more when I found out it was Sherry. It was now just someone I had a personal relationship with. Sherry has never expressed any interest in me sexually. It all came as a surprise. [But] I don’t think Sherry ever shared anything. I’ve had encounters with people Sherry was close with. They have said she never spoke of it.
MK: You speak of emotional trauma – I want to know exactly how this affected you. Victims and survivors deal with this abuse sometimes just once and it sticks with them forever and they are in pain constantly. Do you primarily avoid social media? Are you not able to online date?
BS: I have tried my best to not let it take hold of my dating life. I know that I am capable of finding love and being loved. Being a victim of this harassment is something that has made me want to fight for other people in general. I was angered, but that anger turned into drive. I refuse to let that get in the way of what I want in my romance.
MK: Were you always in fear that Sherry would get on the show? I’m sure each year that passed you probably had a sigh of relief that she wasn’t cast – and now here she is. She makes her debut in tomorrow’s episode.
BS: I had been hoping for years she wouldn’t be cast. It did eventually feel like it was a matter of time once she had success in the city. I was genuinely not surprised when I saw it happen. Just saddened.
MK: Okay let’s try and focus on the now. This story doesn’t define you – and you are incredibly courageous to share this with the world. The Drag Race fandom is in a league of their own and they’ll all be reading this, so now I want them to know more about Ben Shimkus. What performances have you been in? What have you acted in? I’d like to shine some positive light on your journey rather than solely focusing on Sherry detouring it.
BS: Since then, I graduated from Cortland State University with a 3.9 GPA that I worked my ass off for. I have gone on to perform in three US national yours, a Canadian tour, and an Australian tour. I’m currently on my last week aboard the MS Riviera performing four shows. I’ve also worked at multiple regional houses in the US.
Shimkus’ allegation has led to the Drag Race fandom talking all about it. On his Facebook post, others are coming forward saying that Sherry has also acted inappropriately with them – they all have the same story (!) with the same account of being in contact by Allison Mossey!! Check out the stories below from others who have came forwarded and let it sink in.
It’s even begun to plague the fandom more as they are using Allison Mossey as an insult toward Sherry.
These drag superstars are the people who RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Ross Matthews, and the production company World of Wonder have chosen to put on a pedestal above all other applicants and they want us to admire them? Are we unsettled by seeing Sherry Pie dressed in red, white, and blue? Yes, all the drag contestants have draped themselves in the USA colors for this year’s theme, to represent the most fabulous parts of America, right? Season 12 has been politicized and we thought maybe RPDR would be trying to show us what is still so great about this troubled nation. But does that include holding drag queens to a higher standard than those that are harming our society? If the allegations are true, they may have failed here.
To be clear: Sherry allegedly catfished AKA impersonated a casting director with malicious intent. She didn’t commit sexual misconduct or assault or anything like Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of, but it’s still some weird, fetishized, shady bull that is an alleged pattern and not a one-off she can shrug her shoulders about and we shouldn’t either. These allegations are odd and we’re all scratching our heads. In the words of Mama Ru: “I can’t wait to see how this turns out.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race season twelve and Sherry’s debut premieres tomorrow evening. Will you watch? If you are tuning in, will you be viewing Sherry Pie differently after these allegations?
And if you want to read the allegations against Sherry, check out Shimkus’ allegations below as he goes into full detail on his Facebook post.
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors. All of the claims above are alleged. None of the claims have been proven in court and are thus allegations that have not been proven to be true. The pronoun ‘She’ is referencing Sherry Pie when he identifies as his drag persona. Shimkus’ responses have been edited for clarity. Instinct Magazine has not reached out to Sherry Pie for comment.
Source: Interview with Shimkus and Facebook