A writer had the audacity to call Reichen Lehmkuhl a “vapid queen” in a print magazine, and now the A-List: New York star is throwing a hissy fit. I’d say something like, “Is this what reality television has come to?,” but the real question is, “Isn’t this what reality television was built for?” Vapid queens, I mean.
Dan Avery wrote in his year in review piece for Next magazine that the LOGO show “probably cancelled out 100 ‘t Gets Better’ videos [Ed: Including its own] with its cringe-worthy depictions of Reichen, Rodiney and the other vapid queens trying to impress upon viewers why they’re important. (Hint, if you have to explain why you’re A-list, you’re probably not.)” OH NO HE DIDN’T!
Reichen has responded. Asking Avery to “please retract his statement.” But moreover, Reichen writes:
First, I don’t appreciate your bullying words. You can save your “vapid queens” comment for, well, no one. I can’t even imagine speaking this way about other human beings. That you would reduce my existence to someone who is a “vapid queen” says more about what you don’t know about me, along with the kind of person you must be. Is this seriously how a “senior editor” at a magazine talks about people?
Second, I’d like for you to point out which scene(s) depicted me or Rodiney trying to impress upon anyone how “important” we are. Is it that you IMAGINED scenes like this? Or do you just feel less important by default? Trust me, there are no scenes where we impress any sort of thing on anyone. We aren’t like that as people, on or off the screen. We are humble, caring, HUMAN BEINGS, in case you forgot to explore that side of us. We lived our summer on a TV show and had 3600 hours of filming reduced to 3 hours that you actually saw, broadcast over 10 episodes that we watched, sometimes in horror, at all that was left OUT that would have depicted us as balanced people who react accordingly to situations. That you would make a public accusation that we would ever think we are “important” or “more important” than anyone else, is ridiculous. It’s ignorant.
Um. I don’t want to be the one to point this out. But, Reichen? Um. You’re on a show called A-List: New York. A show where castmembers, in the opening credits, talk about how fabulous their lives are. And how it makes them A-list. As in, puts them on a pedestal. As in, how it makes them more important than others, especially other gays.
To take a reality show like A-List seriously is a mistake no gay person should ever make. And to take criticism of show like A-List seriously is perhaps an ever more grave mistake. And for a person who stars on the show to do it? Well, that’s just sad, really.
This is the same guy who told another gay media outlet, “If you think we’re a bad representation of the gay community, it’s like, every gay person knows … we all know the way these seven guys, including myself, act on the show are an accurate representation of the way a lot of gay people act.”
We can play this game of He Says/Beyoncés. Or we can just understand that the cast of the A-List are sometimes great people, sometimes hypocrites, and at their best sometimes make great television.