As we've come to find out, RuPaul's Drag Race has fans everywhere. The series has built a global fandom of hardcore viewers that tune into every international franchise, follow all the queens and — before the pandemic — attend DragCon. And these aren't just laypeople, a growing group of celebrities have expressed their love for the show. U.S. politicians Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Nancy Pelosi have appeared on the show — AOC is notably a superfan. And now, Drag Race has become a point of debate on the floor of Parliament in Australa.
Earlier this year, news broke that what was previously reported as the Australian version of the growing show would instead be titled RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under. The series, which was originally announced in 2019, would film in New Zealand and include queens from both the island continent as well as New Zealand, with Ru as host. This was, in part, because of the ongoing pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Well, Rose Jackson, a Labor Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, has a bone to pick with her fellow politicians about allowing that to happen.
"RuPaul's Drag Race is massively popular," Jackson said from the floor of Parliament. "It's not a case of they should have called us; we should have been calling them to say what can we do to keep this product in Sydney? How can we make this more attractive for you? The makeup artists, the costume designers, the set designers, the lighting designers, the performers, this was their moment to showcase on an international stage what they were doing and the New South Wales Government didn't even lift a finger to try and keep that production in Sydney, embed streaming services in Sydney."
"Facts are facts," she continued, referencing a now-viral Monique Heart meme. "This was a massive missed opportunity. It's sickening — and not in a good way — that the New South Wales government let Drag Race Down Under slip away and the minister should sashay away and make sure it never happens again."
And while the end of the clip got a bit humorous, Jackson not able to keep up her bit, she's right on all counts. RuPaul's Drag Race is a massive platform that puts cold hard cash into the pockets of many who are affiliated. That's not just the queens who compete but the teams they employ, as well as the production teams that World of Wonder collaborates with to create the international franchises. Australia won't miss out on all of that though as Australia queens will still compete and are likely to have sourced some of their drags from back home, but they certainly aren't getting all they could have!
RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under is reportedly in production now with the first season to debut later this year.