RuPaul’s Drag Race renewed as second-season finale leads to absurd charges of racism

RuPaul’s Drag Race ended its second season this week, as RuPaul chose Tyra Sanchez, aka James Moss, as the winner over Raven, aka David Petruschin, the runner-up, a controversial decision that has caused some fans to moronically accuse RuPaul of racism.

The finale was the network’s most-watched show ever, with 633,000 viewers. Because of that, the series has been renewed, as has its behind-the-scenes show Untucked, while an already-announced spin-off, RuPaul’s Drag U, airs this summer, starting in July.

The winner of season two (the entire second season is online) is a formerly homeless Orlando father (he had a son as a high school student, he told After Elton) who happens to be black, as was the winner of season one.

This is pretty irrelevant except that it’s causing people to accuse RuPaul of racism, which they’re doing on the show’s Facebook page and elsewhere. For example, Steve Trujillo wrote, “Now come on RuPaul don’t you think it’s obvious that both winners are black?” Adrienne Wood wrote, “Every black drag queen try out you will all win!” And Justin-Damin Hampton-Lappe wrote, “RuPaul I guess only likes black drag queens to win on her show, and does not give a shit about talent!!!!!!!! What a mistake, I will NEVER watch or listen to RuPaul again!!!!!”

In a smart response to this, After Elton’s Brent Hartinger argues that “Because RuPaul picked two African Americans in a row as winners of his reality show, an accusation is being made about his motives that would never be made about a white host of a reality show who picked two white winners in a row.”

He also wrote, “I’m not sure what motivates the ridiculous charge against RuPaul, except to say I think the accusation itself is a form of racism and, intended or not, it makes a mockery of the whole concept of racism. … Disagree with RuPaul all you want — just don’t resort to vile racial doublespeak to do it.”

Stop This Meme: RuPaul is not “Racist” for his “Drag Race” Winning Pick [After Elton]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.