This article was published on April 8th, 2019
While it can’t be denied that the show has been a queer cultural phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race has seen its shares of ups and downs. Now in its 12thseason, fans have been gagging for a little somethin’ somethin’ that hasn’t been seen before. And it has yet to be determined if this season has still got what it takes to slay. Is Mama Ru’s reign as reality show queen be finally over? Perhaps it is time for RuPaul’s Drag Race to sashay away!
RuPaul deserves a lot of credit. She was one of the world’s first superstar model drag queens and, at this point, has had decades of success as a performer, actress, singer, talk show host, and now reality show reina. While she has always been ahead of the game, some of her recent anti-trans stances haven’t been very cute and her show has grown somewhat boring.
Let’s get one thing clear. RuPaul’s Drag Race has legions of fans who will swear by its existence as the reason they get up on Thursday mornings, and the reason they drag their asses to work Friday mornings. Drag Race has opened up the queer community to the straight world in ways unparalleled by other movies, TV shows, or documentaries. Drag Race has developed slang, advanced HIV, depression, and queer awareness. And it has allowed a lot of fabulousness through its pink doors.
But there are some glaring issues with Drag Race that cannot be ignored. The back stabbing and cat fighting is cute, but what the audience is often seeing is condoned bullying that gets swept away by a funny jab or commercial break. The ‘reading’ episodes where the queens pull out all the stops in insulting each other to the lowest degree is funny… to a point… but then those negative messages guised in humor can help perpetuate a discriminatory attitude and culture, not just in the drawing room, but in the gayborhood, too. What it really comes down to is plain and simple bullying, condoned in the form of entertainment for the rest of us.
Transgender people are 10 times more likely to kill themselves, and the other letters in the acronym are often subjected to more violence and negativity and also at higher levels than straight counterparts for suicide. Some of the vitriol spoken on RuPaul’s Drag Race really has no place for television, in jest or not. While Joan Rivers once made the point that humor is used to deal with all of the horrible shit in people’s lives, is it in the best interest of Drag Race to promote this image that gay people are nasty, catty bitches to one another all the time.
RuPaul’s Drag Race needs a serious revamp. There hasn’t been a meme worthy event since Valentina refused to take off her lace, and hasn’t been a real, true deserving queen since Bianca del Rio—who bested Courtney Act and Adore Delano simply and solely because she is a comedian good at lambasting her competition. Brown Cow stunning just doesn’t cut it.
The audience has grown a tired of the same ol’ same old in regard to Ru and her show. Should Drag Race go away? Absolutely not. But if the show plans on having longevity beyond this season and the next, producers had better rethink some things and change stuff up. Because, unfortunately, RuPaul’s Drag Race has become—a tad bit boring. It’s time to bring back your girls… and bring out something new.