UPDATE (03/04/2019 20:00): In a statement to Billboard, Trinity the Tuck has further explained her desision to leave the Haters Roast. While Trinity said that she personally had a good working relationship with Murray & Peter Presents, who put on the event, multiple reports of unfair treatment to other individuals she knew turned the tide.
As previously reported, Ginger Minj was fired from Haters Roast in January after missing tour dates to film a project. Her husband, CeeJay Russell, was then fired this weekend, after remaining on staff with Murray & Peter Presents as a crew member. The reason: missing a tour date to be with Ginger whose grandmother was hospitalized and later died.
“After that, I could no longer morally support a company that would fire someone over something like that,” Trinity told Billboard. “It made me think of my grandmother and what if I was in that situation.”
ORIGINAL STORY: The newly crowned RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 4 winners will no longer be a part of the ongoing Haters Roast comedy tour, which features former Drag Race contestants. The update comes after Monet X Change was fired from the event for accepting a conflicting gig, that would take her away from one tour date.
“Yesterday Monet X Change arrived in Denver to appear on our show,” Murray & Peter Present, the production company that puts on the tour wrote to Instagram on Friday. “Sometime during the afternoon, we’re told she received a phone call from Madonna with an offer to be in an upcoming music video. Monet asked MP if it would be ok to leave the tour to accept the offer. We said no because it was too short notice to replace her on Haters. Just hours before the show was to start and without telling anyone including the other queens on the Denver show, Monet left the venue and flew to LA to accept Madonna’s offer.”
“Therefore, we have decided that Monet will no longer be on any upcoming Haters Roast dates,” the message was uploaded alongside a photo of X Change’s reserved seat on stage. And though the comments from that post were disabled, the upload set off a flurry of tweets and chatter about not only Murray & Peter Present but tours for queens overall.
“Europe!!” X Change wrote in a tweet shortly after with a promo shot from the upcoming Werq The World tour put on by Voss Events. “The production value of this tour is INSANE! Tickets are literally almost gone. Can’t wait to be a part of a World Class PROFESSIONAL Tour!” The tweet appeared to address the situation in passing but five minutes later, that “petty bitch from Brooklyn” had more to say.
“The queens think you’re trash, the fans think you’re trash, and at this point … your reputation precedes ANYTHING I could ever say,” she tweeted, going on to say that she has only rescheduled five appearances since being on Drag Race in 2018 and they were all due to All Stars obligations. While she never mentioned Murray & Peter Presents by name, it was clear to most reading who she was referring to.
The post spurred other queens to chime in like Phi Phi O’Hara and Laila McQueen. O’Hara uploaded screenshots where she was offered four dates, presumably as a replacement for X Change, which she said she turned down in solidarity before also explaining that the tour threatened to fire performers who worked her Queens United benefit show in 2017 for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. O’Hara added she and a “bunch” of other queens were also offered the Madonna video, but she turned it down because of the short notice.
McQueen recounted her own negative experience with the production company in a thread and more than a few queens remarked on how the management notoriously downtalked both fans and queens. On Saturday, Trinity the Tuck, who won her All Stars 4 crown alongside X Change, weighed in.
“I have made a decision to not continue on with touring in the MP tours,” she wrote in an email to her manager that she screenshot and posted to Twitter. “It has come to my attention that there has been some conduct going on that I find to be surprising and shocking. Murray contacted me and told me one story about what happened with Monet however there has been multiple stories appearing from more than 3 people on how situations were handled and how people were treated. My integrity can not allowed me to be involved in any matters to do with all that.” The two were not the first departures from the tour: Ginger Minj also notably announced she was dropped from Haters Roast in late January. Other queens like Mimi Imfurst have been hired as replacements.
The controversy has kicked up a conversation about how tours are managed and how the queens are treated. Some, like season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen, have suggested starting their own productions.
Dear queens. It's time that we do our own tour. Each girl on the tour is a producer and makes money from the sales. Not a flat rate. I'm done with these shady production companies using us and spitting us out.
— Bob The Drag Queen (@thatonequeen) March 3, 2019
“Dear queens,” she wrote. “It’s time that we do our own tour. Each girl on the tour is a producer and makes money from the sales. Not a flat rate. I’m done with these shady production companies using us and spitting us out.” Violet Chachki, Courtney Act, Ongina, and Pandora Boxx all seemed supportive. Season 11’s Soju pointed to her Seoul Train touring k-pop party as her working in that vein, but O’Hara pushed it more.
“Can we get an Asian Queen tour,” O’Hara, who is Filipino, asked. “Like for real for real!!” Gia Gunn chimed in, asking O’Hara to produce as she was behind the well received Queens United tour. Ongina and Jiggly Caliente quickly showed support as well as Flip Phone Events.
Sounds like when one tour falls, like a fertile phoenix, multiple tours rise up in performer-centric models as replacements?