entertainment

Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman reflects on Drag Race trolling ahead of season 14 appearance

"I don’t focus on things that are shallow".

2021-11-16

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: ET

Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman has reflected on the fallout from his difficult experience working on Drag Race Canada, ahead of an appearance on next year's RuPaul's Drag Race season 14.

The 37-year-old actor guested on the US edition of the show several times over the years before appearing as a full-time judge on his home nation's version in 2020.

On Drag Race Canada, the star was known for strongly-worded critiques which frequently sparked a backlash from viewers - and, in the worst cases, heinous racist abuse from cyberbullies.  

Bowyer-Chapman has since left the show and is now working as an actor in the Disney+ show Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. He also deleted his Twitter account in August 2020 after the experience.

"Letting go of that was not a challenging decision"

Speaking to Queerty in a recent interview, the out gay star said: "Social media has never been a big part of my life, truly. Instagram is just about my only social media platform at this point, and I share so little of my life. I never have. It’s not something I want to do: to let strangers into my most intimate details. Letting go of that was not a challenging decision."

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (@jeffreybchapman)

He continued: "I go back to the lessons of the people who really shaped me and helped me to figure out who I want to be, Maya Angelou, being such a huge influence.

"One of her most famous quotes is, 'They’re not talking about you. They’re not talking about me. People can talk about actors or celebrities or singers and come up with all these stories of who they are, but at the end of the day, they’re not talking about the truth of who you are. They don’t really know you.'"

Bowyer-Chapman previously told the Hollywood Reporter of the abuse he suffered: "The amount of times that I was called a stupid n****r 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.”

According to the HR, World of Wonder and RuPaul declined to comment on their story, but 'their relationship with Bowyer-Chapman remains good, and he already has taped an appearance on an upcoming season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.'