RuPaul has been forced to apologise after making comments that some regarded as transphobic.
The Emmy-winning host made a controversial statement over the weekend in regard to allowing trans contestants to compete on Drag Race.
In an interview with The Guardian, he said: “Drag loses its sense of danger and sense of irony once it’s not men doing it. Because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”
Following a backlash on social media, Ru made reference to the show being labelled the “the Olympics of drag,” telling followers in a tweet that “performance enhancing drugs” used by athletes are comparable to transgender women using hormones or surgery as an advantage in the show.
You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/HkJjzXzUGm— RuPaul (@RuPaul) 5 March 2018
Following his remarks, a number of former Drag Race stars took aim at the self-proclaimed "gate-keeper" of Drag.
My partner of almost three years is trans, and #bendelachrist help anyone who tries to tell him what he can and can’t do. Just sayin’.— bendelacreme (@bendelacreme) 5 March 2018
Trans women were the first entertainers I ever saw in drag & have always been a big part of the industry. To now hear such words of segregation from an icon who has created a world wide community of unity, makes me sad. Is never been LGB so let’s not forget about the T!— Gia Gunn (@GiaGunn) 5 March 2018
We all know in our drag community that if casting knew you were trans, you’d be disqualified. Charisma uniqueness nerve and talent were NOT the only thing they screened for. I couldn’t find the gif of me saying BULLSHIT at the reunion so we’ll use this: pic.twitter.com/8ZuB7he9rP— Willam (@willam) 6 March 2018
Drag is fun. Drag is not to be taken too seriously. Drag is expression. Drag is art. Drag is for everyone. Drag can be created by anyone. ✌🏽— TATIANNA (@TATIANNANOW) 5 March 2018
As the backlash on social media intensified, RuPaul appeared to backtrack on his remarks and shared an apology to his followers.
The iconic entertainer told fans that he "regrets" the hurt he caused with his comments.
Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers. pic.twitter.com/80Qi2halN2— RuPaul (@RuPaul) 5 March 2018