Do NOT ask RuPaul about the lack of diversity behind-the-scenes at “Drag Race”


Rupaul on the step and repeat

RuPaul nabbed his sixth Emmy for RuPaul’s Drag Race on Sunday. But as he and his team gathered on stage to accept the trophy for Best Reality-Competition Program, many couldn’t help but notice that Ru was alongside a largely white, cisgender male crew.

Afterwards, when Essence reporter Danielle Young asked Ru about the noticeable lack of diversity, he didn’t take the question as well as he probably could have.

“I’m curious about how you feel, especially as someone who represents so strongly for the LGBT+ community,” Young asked. “Do you feel like it’s important for that to be represented behind the scenes as well?”


Ru responded first by interrupting Young to make joke about how he supports the “BLT community.”

“I love myself from bacon, lettuce, tomato,” he said.

When he finally got around to actually addressing Young’s concerns, he avoided acknowledging the lack of diversity among his show’s crew by instead pointing out his own visibility: “Well, first of all, the host of our show is Black, gay, and a drag queen. So check, check, and check!”

He continued, “But we’re pretty diverse, there are lots of different types of people here. But is it important? Absolutely.”

Then he incorrectly quoted Oprah‘s “All my life I had to fight” quote from The Color Purple.

“You know, I grew up … I had to fight … I feel like I’m about to quote a movie right now,” Ru said. “It wasn’t easy getting here. You know what I had to do!”

Needless to say, Young wasn’t impressed by the response.

Others felt similarly…

We’ll admit, the optics weren’t great. But if there’s one thing we know about Ru, it’s that she’s a pro when it comes to reinvention.

Over the years, RuPaul has demonstrated an ability to grow and evolve with the times. It’s part of how he’s been so successful. We wouldn’t be surprised if this time next year, as he’s accepting his seventh Emmy for Drag Race, things look a little different.

Related: RuPaul makes a huge announcement about ‘Drag Race’ in 2020