Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman is speaking out.
The 36-year-old star got candid in an interview with THR about his depiction on Canada’s Drag Race as a judge, as well as his treatment by fans of the franchise.
Here’s what he had to say…
On the bullying: “The amount of times that I was called a stupid n—er in my inbox from white, gay men was shocking — specifically because we were in the midst of a racial justice awakening. I think that with me receiving all of the hate, and racism, and harassment, and death threats — it’s shone a light on the insanity of it. It really did show a lot of people how dark and how toxic the Drag Race trolls have become over the past couple of years and how unacceptable it is.”
On a showrunner explaining to him that he was the “sassy one” on the panel: “And being told that from a white person, ever, as a Black person, it’s like a dog whistle. It’s like what is said of Black women and of Black queer men, meaning that you’re the hot-headed, opinionated one who’s going to tell it like it is and not give a shit about what anybody has to say. And that’s not who I am…there really was no Black talent. We’re walking onto a set of Canada’s Drag Race, day one, and the showrunner is telling me how diverse the crew was as he was giving me a tour. And I didn’t see one Black person.”
On being given pre-written negative critiques: “Very naively, I thought, they must just be doing this because they gave me the bubblegum edit. Because there was endless footage of me connecting with the queens and being loving and kind and guiding them.”
On the irony of his role in unREAL compared to his Canada’s Drag Race experience: “After playing a reality TV show producer on UnREAL for four seasons, and spending time behind the scenes with reality TV show producers, I was aware of how dark and how shady that world can be. And how manipulative it can be.”
For more from Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, head to THR.com.
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