Drag Race bosses slam ‘un-American’ drag bans and explain why they’ll fail

Author: Charlie Duncan

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the producers behind RuPaul’s Drag Race, have branded drag ban legislation un-American.

Drag is under attack across the US, with bills introduced in at least 11 state legislatures threatening to restrict or prohibit public drag performances. One such ban has already been implemented in Tennessee, which has also passed a bill that redefines sex.

The likes of Trixie Mattel and RuPaul himself have already rallied against the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, which many fear will be used to further attack trans rights.

Now, Bailey and Barbato, the founders of World of Wonder, the production company behind the Drag Race mega-machine, have slammed the bans as part of an “insidious” plot.

“It’s been going on and it’s orchestrated by a minority,” Barbato told Variety.

“They have been successful in these hideous laws. That same minority is threatening the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community. They are a threat and we must take them seriously.”

World of Wonder has launched a Drag Defense Fund with MTV and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“Donating to the ACLU is important because these battles need to be fought, in addition to [on] social media, in the courts, which is where the laws can be repealed, or even better, not passed in the first place,” Bailey said.

Drag Race drag ban
Drag Race producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have added their voices to those slamming drag bans. (Mathu Anderson)

A common “justification” that Republicans use to push the bans is the unfounded notion that drag queens, and, by extension, queer people, are unsafe for children.

“Ultimately, it’s an attempt to turn the clock back to some imaginary time when drag queens did not exist, which is never, and therefore render invisible certain people,” Bailey went on. “It will fail because any attempt to turn the clock back has always failed and can only fail.”

The Drag Race producers also laid the cause of the rising political tension at the door of Donald Trump, saying: “The wave he rode is part of this continuing wave, which is this fear of the future. It is against trans people. It’s also against books. It has been bubbling under for years.”

A drag queen holds up a book as she reads to kids in the audience at an event in Texas as Republican lawmakers try to ban such kid-friendly events
Advocates have warned the anti-drag bills in Texas could be used to attack trans people as well. (Getty)

While many fans were displeased with the length of time it took RuPaul to speak up, the Drag Race producers reminded viewers that the show is a political statement, in and of itself.

“It celebrates individuality, self-expression and the joy that is associated with that,” Bailey said. “But there are people who want to crush, oppress, silence or erase entire aspects of the population. That doesn’t feel very American. It feels un-American.”

Both Bailey and Barbato encouraged people to vote, while chatting to Variety, as well as at the end of every episode of Drag Race.

“We’ve been pushing people to the voting booth. We ended episodes with the queens and with signs reminding people to register to vote,” Barbato said. “It is the number one thing that we all need to remember to do. There are more of us than there are of them.”

Further Drag Race alumni have joined forces for a telethon in support of the Drag Isn’t Dangerous campaign, with proceeds divided among charities that support LGBTQ+ causes and drag performers in need.

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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Charlie Duncan


My name is David but my online nick almost everywhere is Altabear. I'm a web developer, graphic artist and outspoken human rights (and by extension, mens rights) advocate. Married to my gorgeous husband for 12 years, together for 25 and living with our partner of 4 years, in beautiful Edmonton, Canada.

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