Is Drag Race Diverse Enough?

Credit: Screenshot via VH1 YouTube

Does RuPaul’s Drag Race have a diversity problem? “No!” says some of the show’s iconic Black drag queens.

After winning Outstanding Competition Program at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, RuPaul was asked about the diversity of the staff behind the screen. The world-renown drag star was questioned by a reporter after receiving the reward about the “many white men behind Ru in the press room,” according to the Gay Times.

“I have a question about the hot-button term diversity that always gets thrown around. We’re looking at your team and I don’t see a lot of diversity,” said Danielle Young of Essence.

“I’m curious about how you feel, especially as someone who represents so strongly for the LGBT+ community. Do you feel like it’s important for that to be represented behind the scenes as well?”

Young later defender her question online by saying it was her journalistic duty. She says that the show “centers diversity and the staff seemingly doesn’t.” She then added, “As a journalist, I wanted to give him the space to address that.”

In response to this question, RuPaul says that not only is the show hosted by a Black queen but also supported by several people of color.

RuPaul responded: “And the BLT community, I love myself from bacon, lettuce, tomato. First of all, the host of our show is black, gay and a drag queen, so check, check and check. But we’re pretty diverse, there are lots of different types of people here.

“But is it important? Absolutely. When I grew up, I had to fight, like… I feel like I’m about to quote a movie right now, but it wasn’t easy. You know what I had to do? Some of the things, I’m not even going to repeat what I had to do!”

But that’s not all. Two other famous queens from the show spoke up on this issue. Season Eight winner Bob The Drag Queen shared a similar perspective to RuPaul’s on Twitter.

Bob not only stated that the show has “several people of color working in” it, but then listed several producer names like “Michelle Mills, Rupaul, Mandy Salangsang, Jamala Gaither, Alicia Gargaro-Magaña, Swaga Deb, San, and the late Jacqualine Wilson.”

One of those producers, Michele Mills, then posted to Facebook her frustrations with Young’s question and “all those out there who are promoting the ERASURE of the important role that two women of colour play on the show.” She then dedicated the award to Jacqualine Wilson, who recently died from cancer.

All Stars 4 Champion Monét X Change then doubled down on these sentiments by sharing them on Twitter.

“I get so annoyed by this stuff because I am so proud to be a part of the LEGACY of RPDR,” she wrote to her followers. “A show that tells the story of so many queer people/POC. Never in the history of television (now, POSE) had we EVER seen this before.”

Bob then finished with a note on how Drag Race is one of the most diverse sets she’s ever visited.

“This is the last thing I’ll say: I haven’t done a ton of TVand film, but in the dozen or so I have done I’ve only ever been on two sets with more diversity than @RuPaulsDragRace. Cherry Pop directed by @AssaadYacoub and @BlackLadySketch on HBO. Nothing else even come close.”

Sources: Gay Times

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