When more than 1 million people turned on the television to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race on Friday night, many viewers in the LGBTQ community were disappointed to see Wendy Williams hosting the live viewing party on VH1.
At the viewing party I attended in New York City, the drag queen host muted the sound, asking, “Why the fuck do we care what she has to say?”
Many are agreeing with her, echoing these sentiments on social media since the premiere.
— Sebastian (@SebastianPGG) March 28, 2017
Stephanie Stone, a New York based drag performer, writes:
Detox, a former Drag Race All-Star, applauds Stone’s sentiments, sharing Stone’s status on her own Instagram:
THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!! This is why I say @wendywilliamsxo @wendyshow should NOT be hosting the @rupaulsdragrace viewing party on @vh1. She is NOT an ally. She is transphobic. If anything, she is an ENEMY. An enemy profiting off of our community. Fuck. That. #ImpeachWendyWilliams ok fine. Just #FireWendyWilliams
We reached out to the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars season 2 to get her take on the controversy.
Here’s what Alaska Thunderfuck told us exclusively:
Frankly, I think the decision to make Wendy Williams one of the hosts of the weekly spots framing commercial breaks for RuPaul’s Drag Race’s weekly broadcast is tone deaf, untimely and incorrect.
I used to watch Wendy’s “Hot Topics” daily, and some of the things she said during Caitlyn Jenner’s very public transition were beyond questionable.
At that time, much of the nation was learning to navigate trans visibility for the first time and needed guidance and clarity from the media. But instead Wendy repeatedly spouted ignorance and transphobic rhetoric to a daily audience of millions.
I don’t watch her show anymore.
And I certainly don’t think she is the right person to be hosting our community’s flagship television program.
I think it’s good for Drag Race to be moving toward the mainstream. I’m grateful for the move to VH1. I’m glad that one million people watched the first episode of Season 9. Our message is one of love and acceptance and truth and strength and perseverance, and I believe it should reach everyone, near and far.
But I also believe we need to remember who we are. And remember that it is we who built this. We need to be vigilant and respectful when choosing the shepherds into whose hands we’re putting ourselves. We need to be wary of people hitching themselves to the wildly successful Drag Race wagon for monetary gain — especially if they can’t even name the winners of season 1, 2 and 3 in order.
And I’m not the only one who feels this way.