After nine seasons, RuPaul's Drag Race is more popular than ever. The competition reality show recently made the move from Logo to VH1, and the channel airs a live viewing party every week — hosted by Wendy Williams — to coincide with the premiere of each new episode.
The only problem here is that the viewing party is hosted by Williams, Vulture reports. As many Drag Race alums and fans have been saying, Williams doesn't have the best history when it comes to her treatment of drag queens, as well as of the LGBTQ community at large.
Former Drag Race contestant Detox shared a Facebook post earlier this week by fellow queen Stephanie Stone that explains the issue many have with Williams attaching herself to the much-loved show.
Here's the gist of it: back in 2009, drag queen and performance artist Erickatoure Aviance was almost kicked out of the audience at Wendy's show, with show officials citing their "no costume policy." Aviance was eventually allowed to stay, but only on the condition that she didn't do anything to draw any attention to herself. After receiving a slew of complaints, show officials later apologized, changed their policy, and invited Aviance back to the show. Still, the damage was done, and it doesn't help that Williams has also made extremely problematic comments in the past.
"[Wendy Williams] is NOT an ally. She is transphobic. If anything, she is an ENEMY. An enemy profiting off of our community," Detox wrote on Instagram.
Other Drag Race alums agreed. Alaska Thunderf*ck, winner of the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, called the decision to hire Williams as host "tone deaf, untimely, and incorrect."
"I think it's good for 'Drag Race' to be moving toward the mainstream. I'm grateful for the move to VH1," Thunderf*ck told Unicorn Booty. "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," Alaska continued. "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."
Shots fired! But for real, where is the lie? Wendy has yet to comment on all the controversy, but who knows what will happen in the days to come. One thing's for certain, though: RuPaul's Drag Race wouldn't be where it is today without the love and support of the drag community, and show officials would be fools not to at least take their concerns into serious consideration.
[Photo: Getty Images]