Murmurs of racism continue to dog RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, with Scarlet Adams being called out again for past sins and questions being asked about cast diversity.
Scarlet Adams has continued to draw the ire of Aboriginal queen Felicia Foxx, with a recent social media post calling Adams out for not heeding the message, after seemingly “playing victim” with her choice of clothing at an event. Adams’ dress at a recent event had the words ‘Quit Drag’ scrawled on it.
“Taking accountability after being called out sis would have been a move in the right direction. After seeing this most recent image of you playing victim I’ve come to realisation that a racist like you will never take into count the atrocity you’ve caused towards marginalised communities,” Foxx said.
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Foxx said that she and others had reached out to lend a helping hand to assist Adams in taking accountability for her past racist performances as well as actions. “I thought you would have used your platform which is now viewed on an international level thanks to @rupaulsdragrace for all the right reasons.”
Foxx tagged World Of Wonder, the company that produces the Drag Race show, advising them to undertake proper background checks the next time so that they “don’t give a RACIST this platform to represent Australia!!!”
Scarlet Adams Denies ‘Playing Victim’
In her response, Adams denied that she had blocked Foxx and explained her choice of dress.
“I haven’t blocked you babe, my account was shadow banned for nudity. I reached out to you a few times actually and was left on read,” claimed Adams.
“Not sure what narrative has been pushed about this dress, but I has (sic) nothing to do with that situation. It’s nasty things people have said to me over the years including “k*ll yourself, ug*ly, f*g, Sl*t, quit drag”etc etc,” Adams said.
Foxx responded accusing Adams of failing to take accountability for her actions. “Me or any other POC (persons of colour) that has been affected by your downright racist actions should (not) have to do the emotional labour you need to do, by owning your wrong doings,” said Foxx.
Drag Race Queens Called Out Over Past Racism
As reported by the Star Observer back in March, RuPaul Drag Race Down Under contestant Scarlet Adams was first called out for previous performances where she used blackface and cultural appropriation in her acts, along with claims of racist banter being used for cheap laughs.
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A couple of other queens were called out in the same post, though with their smaller platforms, seem to have been able to dodge the worst of the criticism that Adams has attracted.
This includes being called out on an American YouTube channel, Offensive Tea for her past behavior.
Karen from Finance, another contestant was also tapped in that same video, which included an image of her out of drag, posing with an extensive looking golliwog collection.
It probably matched with her “golliwog tattoo”, which has since been “covered” and the offending collection ending up in “landfill”.
Such awful memories… I had that tattoo covered over and erased years ago. I was mortified when I eventually realised how ignorant I’d been in learning about it’s origins and inflictions and was devastated at the thought of any pain that it may have potentially caused to others
— Karen From Finance (@KarenFrmFinance) February 22, 2021
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under’ Called Out
But it’s not just the performers being questioned about their past misdeeds that are raising concerns about this version of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
International viewers are starting to notice a trend – in addition to the above mentioned YouTube video, UK youth publication The Tab also questioned several of the judges’ and producers’ decision-making processes.
“But sly digs aside, there’s queens in this cast who have problematic and racist pasts that make rooting for them on the show completely invalid,” the publication said and questioned Art Simone’s return after being previously told to “sashay away”.
“Art Simone returning means that the only two queens of colour were booted out first. There is a race issue with Drag Race Down Under that’s just been amplified with the two aboriginal queens Jojo Zaho and Coco Jumbo being the first two out.”
Give the white girl another go she deserves it! #DragRaceDownUnder
— Coco Jumbo! (@_cocojumbo) May 22, 2021
Coco Jumbo also weighed in on the Art Simone Ru-veal, posting on Twitter: “Give the white girl another go, she deserves it!”
Art Simone explained that it was not her decision to bring her back to the competition.
You’re all entitled to your opinions but please stop tagging me when you’re discussing the show. It wasn’t my decision – so please don’t take out your frustrations on me. I’m not doing well and drag was the one thing that used to make me feel better, now it makes me feel worse 😖
— Art Simone (@ArtSimone) May 24, 2021
The other eliminated queen Jojo Zaho agreed and pointed out that it was not Art Simone’s fault. “I would have absolutely loved the opportunity to come back and I know for a fact Coco Jumbo would have loved to as well,” said Zaho.
Look, I would have absolutely loved the opportunity to come back, and I know for a fact @_cocojumbo would have loved to as well!
Was it fair?… No!
is it @ArtSimone fault? Absolutely not!!! Because who TF says no to a second chance! #leaveartsimonealone pic.twitter.com/ZdXFEkiYgx
— Jojo Zaho (@ZahoJojo) May 28, 2021
With RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under reaching its half-way mark, it remains to be seen whether the production tackles the issue and answers the questions being raised in the remaining episodes.