FOLLOWING an open letter from a Melbourne drag queen blasting it for delaying the airing of the upcoming RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2 season, Foxtel has explained to the Star Observer why it takes them so long to get new episodes onto Australian television.
“After your 6-week-delayed (sic) airing of Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I am writing to find out when you are planning on screening RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2,” Karen from Finance wrote to Foxtel.
Foxtel threatened Karen with legal action earlier this year for holding screening parties at a Melbourne venue using episodes of the eighth season of Drag Race that had been streamed and downloaded from the internet.
“It saddens me to see queens around the world getting excited about how big their screening parties are going to be, while we here in Australia are cowering beneath Foxtel as they threaten to sue us, as we secretly await the next online torrent in the wee dark hours of the morning,” Karen wrote in the open letter.
A spokesperson for Foxtel said it understood viewers’ frustrations, was still in the process of confirming a “telecast date and slot dependent on materials delivery”, and any delay to an Australia air date was because of the company that produces Drag Race – World of Wonder.
“We have been told by our distributor (Passion Distribution) that the production company, World of Wonder, is extremely protective of RPDR and will not release materials until after its US telecast date,” the spokesperson said.
“Plus, file transfer is out of the question, and episodes must be shipped on hard drive, (and Foxtel was told) ‘hey are a small company with a tiny post-production department, they simply don’t have the machine, staff or bandwidth capacity to do it any other way’. The result of this is a delay between the US and Foxtel telecast.
“We understand the public’s frustrations, we love RuPaul too! We are continuing to work with the distributor to ensure a tighter turnaround on all episodes and will advise the Foxtel telecast date as quickly as we can.”
Karen said she would now focus her ‘line of attack’ on the Los Angeles based World of Wonder (WOW) and that the delay is sending a message to loyal Australian Drag Race fans that they’re not valued.
“I guess we have to start pushing our campaign to them. It’s (Drag Race) been running so long now, they’ve been going 13 seasons, it’s not like their protection is working,” she said.
“It’s giving us the message that we’re not as a respected community as much as we think we are, all of our assets and our support is not being valued.
“Watching Drag Race has become a community event… we’re so supportive of the show, we go to watch the queens when they tour here, we buy their merch and now we’ve been knocked back for watching it here.
Karen is putting out a rally cry to Australian Drag Race fans to help convince WOW to bring forward the telecast date of new episodes.
“We’re going to keep pushing our hashtag: #GiveAusSllStars, I’m going to make a public announcement to move the campaign to World of Wonder so we can get a reaction.”