'Drag Race' Star BenDeLaCreme Cancels Australian Tour in Solidarity With Allegedly Unpaid Performers
RuPaul’s Drag Race alum BenDeLaCreme has never been one to stay quiet about what she perceives as injustice. The season 6 and All Stars 3 contestant has spoken up across her social media for years about bullying within the Drag Race community, racism, sexism and discrimination.
DeLa recently canceled the remaining Australian leg of Inferno A-Go-Go, the queen’s one-woman show about a trip through hell, due to a lack of payment for fellow performers by her promoters. Taking to Facebook and Twitter, the queen said she was not going to continue touring because the promoting company she has been working with, Kweer Touring and Events, has yet to pay many of her fellow performers from a previous event she performed at in Australia called Queer Expo.
“I cannot in good faith continue to tour with a promoter who is not treating performers without my platform with the same consideration as those who have been on TV,” she wrote on Tuesday. “It is my hope that this situation will be rectified very soon.”
The queen added that she wants to bring her show to Australia soon but that she feels a responsibility to stand up for her fellow performers. “At this point in time, queens have no unions to protect us, and we have to stick together as advocates for each other,” she said. “It is important for all performers to stand up for the fair treatment and pay of everyone working in drag, burlesque, cabaret, and all of the many designers and artists that support us.”
One of the performers who claimed to not have been paid is Biblegirl, a popular Los Angeles-based queen, who tweeted almost a month ago that she had not been paid the $3,750 she was owed by the company. “I am not throwing out a number as a means of bragging, but to anchor the situation at hand and to drive home the point of how serious and unfair this is,” she said.
Kweer Touring and Events owner Peter Smith released a statement via Facebook following Biblegirl’s tweets, apologizing for the delayed payments to performers, announcing that the company would give promotion of the upcoming Vanjie Ball Tour to another promoter and asking that angry fans allow them to settle the ongoing problem “without the death threats, threats of violence, and hacking of our social media pages.”
Biblegirl thanked BenDeLaCreme on Twitter for standing up for her fellow performers. “DeLa is so fucking awesome for posting this in solidarity,” she wrote in reply to the star’s announcement. “A true sister.”
Read BenDeLaCreme’s full statement below: