An article was floating around today that pretty much blasted RuPaul for his acceptance speech for Outstanding Reality Competition Program during the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The author described how RuPaul took his winning moment to thank the people behind the scenes of RPDR and how Ru finished his speech the same way he ends every episode of his show with “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else. Can I get an amen?” The article author thought that Ru should have used the time to speaking out for all the “embattled queer fans” who have made the show what it is today.
Whereas I can understand the author’s viewpoint on this in that Ru could have used his endless words of wisdom to inspire the LGBTQ+ community watching at home, I can also see the opposite end of the spectrum in that what he said was fine and the win was enough of an accomplishment.
Let’s keep it real here. The previous winners of this category have been snooze fest shows like The Amazing Race and The Voice (I’m not including Top Chef in this as it’s one of my favorite programs on television). The fact that an LGBTQ+ focused show won in an area that barely valued us many moons ago is huge and should not be taken lightly.
RuPaul's win doesn’t mean that he needs to whip out a 2-minute speech where he looks directly into the camera and says something super poignant about our community. He’s already done that, along with his judging panel and the 126 queens that have walked through the werk room over the past ten years. The impact and legacy of RPDR is undeniable. The show has become an absolute force of nature that no one saw coming.
I watched the Emmy Awards live and could tell that Ru sounded a little hoarse and was possibly overwhelmed by the show winning for his speech was not as cohesive and clear as he usually presents himself when speaking. Perhaps it was all too much and instead of coming up with something on the spot he relied on a phrase he’s been using for years? The moment was fine and the happy faces of Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley, and the show’s crew were memory enough, instead of an alleged overlooking of a prime moment for him to make a political or social statement that we could have enjoyed during the 45 seconds he was on stage.
I think the bottom line is that we need to stop expecting our queer icons to be perfect and always say the right thing and always on a rainbow-colored soap box. Ru has said things in the past that I haven’t agreed with whatsoever, but I’m not going to fault the guy for a supposed missed opportunity which would’ve still became a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of a thing as he still would’ve been crucified for what he said if he did. It’s like when our community went after Ellen for her joke about Liza during the Oscars a couple of years back. Does EVERYTHING NEED TO BE TAKEN SO SERIOUSLY?
To those who were mad that he didn’t say enough, I understand (to a point), but, and this is a big butt (to quote Ru), can we just be happy that this little show that started as next to nothing won the biggest honor that any television program can win? Is that too much to ask for our community?
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.