With the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise going strong–several versions of the show air in the US, UK, Holland and Thailand–two key figures in its success have announced some major changes will be hitting future seasons.
Executive producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, who also co-own World of Wonder, the production company responsible for the franchise, recently told Digital Spy about their hope for new directions to take the show. When journalist David Opie asked the pair point-blank about including drag kings or more transgender queens, they gave an enthusiastic answer.
“Yeah,” Bailey admitted. “Our constant mantra is ‘Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent,’ and that does not exclude anyone.”
“And there’s been trans people on the show,” Barbato adds. “It is ‘Charisma, Uniqueness Nerve and Talent,’ so it would not be some headline-making news. For some people it would be, but yeah.”
In addition to their vision for more diverse casting on the show, the pair also revealed that other countries have entered active negotiations for additional entries in the Drag Race franchise, though they didn’t reveal where due to the ongoing talks. World of Wonder also launched a live Drag Race stage show at the Flamingo Resort & Casino earlier this year, though the show remains on hiatus due to COVID-19.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has come under fire in recent seasons for a lack of transgender representation, as has host RuPaul for comments suggesting transgender women should not compete on the show. RuPaul has since apologized, and the show has since featured openly transgender performers on the show, beginning with Peppermint in Season 9.