The hit show “RuPaul’s Drag” race won more Emmys on Sunday night, and although the host of the show, RuPaul Charles, was surely celebrating that night, one reporter had a behind the scenes question after his win.
“Hey Ru, so I have a question for you about the hot button term ‘diversity,’” said Danielle Young from ESSENCE. “That always gets thrown around, and here looking at your team, I don’t see a lot of diversity. I’m curious about how you feel, especially someone who represents so strongly for the LGBT community.”
“And the BLT community,” Charles interrupted, in humor.
“But do you feel like it’s important for that to be supported, behind the scenes as well, for a show like yours, that is so diverse?” Young continued.
Charles responded to Young saying, “First of all, the host of our show is Black, gay, and a drag queen. So check, check, and check. But no, we’re pretty diverse. Yes, there are lots of different types of people here.”
He continued, “Is it important? Absolutely! You know, I grew up … I had to fight … I feel like I’m about to quote a movie right now.”
“All my life I had to fight,” a few folks in the room suggested, quoting the memorable line from the 1982 movie, “The Color Purple.”
“Yeah, yeah!” Charles responded. “It wasn’t easy getting here. You know what I had to do!”
“Work twice as hard, yeah,” Young said.
“And some of the things … I’m not going to repeat what I had to do,” Charles said. “But, yeah I think we got it.”
Charles’ response wasn’t enough for some people on social media who believed he didn’t address the root of the question. Most of the people on his team did look very White and most of them seemed to be men as well.
Even Young went on Twitter to reflect on the situation, attaching a photo of Charles with his mostly White team:
“What bothered me about RuPaul’s response. 1. When I said he reps the LGBT community, he said also the BLT community,” Young wrote, expressing her reacting feeling with a side-eye emoji. “2. He thinks bc he is Black, gay & a drag queen, that somehow is diversity quota is met. 3. He couldn’t quote The Color Purple. 4. Look at the ‘diversity.’”
The optics aren’t looking too promising for RuPaul.
“Drag Race” won four Emmys on Sunday, including Outstanding Competition Program and Outstanding Host for Reality/Competition Program for Charles.