On Thursday (April 5) night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, the hit reality franchise finally tackled a topic that’s long been a part of Drag Race discussions on the Internet without ever getting significant airtime on the show itself: the different ways fans react to white queens vs. queens of color.
The conversation started when Monique Heart brought up the “elephant in the room,” and asked the Aquaria and The Vixen to rehash their fight from the Werk Room. The Vixen stood by her statement that Aquaria decided to “poke the bear” when she made a shady comment about The Vixen’s outfit from last week. “I was chilling,” she said. “You brought it over here, I brought it back, and all of a sudden, I’m a bitch.”
As a number of the other queens agreed with The Vixen, Aquaria became overwhelmed and began crying. The Vixen noticed it and immediately called out what she presumed fans would say about the moment. “You say something, I say something, you start crying,” The Vixen said. “You have created the narrative that I am an angry black woman who has scared off the little white girl.”
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She continued, saying “So when you get super defensive and tell me that I’m being negative, when I’m just responding to what you brought to me, that will always read to these [pointing at the cameras] as a race issue.”
There’s a history of online abuse from Drag Race viewers to back up The Vixen’s commentary. Jasmine Masters and Kennedy Davenport from season 7 were severely criticized by some fans for making shady comments about white queens Trixie Mattel and Violet Chachki. Shea Couleé of season 9 exuded confidence during her season but fans read her for being “cocky.” Even on the recent season of All Stars, BeBe Zahara Benet was leveled with racist epithets after sending home fan-favorite Aja.
In Untucked, a few queens, including Monique Heart and Miz Cracker, asked that The Vixen tone down her responses, which the queen bluntly refused. “That is you saying to me, ‘When someone brings it to you, just handle it more politely.’ No! Why should I?” she asked. “I have no reason to, because being on a 10 is what got me here.”
The conversation wrapped with Aquaria assuring The Vixen she understood the underlying, unresolved problem. “I know this to be an issue,” she said. The Vixen replied: “Ok, now I know that you know. That’s cool. Act like it.”