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Latina Drag Race Executive Producer Responds to Diversity Criticism

Latina Drag Race Executive Producer Responds to Diversity Criticism

rupaul producer diversity

The controversy came to a head on Emmys night, where the show won a trophy.

MikelleStreet

A night of celebration turned into a hotbed of criticism of RuPaul Charles and his show RuPaul's Drag Race, at the 71st Annual Primetime Emmys. After picking up the trophy for Best Reality Competition Program, Charles was questioned about the makeup of his production staff.

"Do you feel like it's important for [diversity] to be supported behind the scenes as well for a show like yours, that is so diverse?" Danielle Young fromEssence asked.

After noting that he was a Black, gay drag queen and the host, Charles mentioned Jacqueline Wilson, a Black co-executive producer who recently died. "I think we, I think we got it," Charles said. Young, as well as people on social media, did not receive the response well.

Now, another co-executive producer is speaking out on the issue.

"Posting THESE photos of me with the Emmy I won for RuPaul's Drag Race and Jacqueline Wilson from last year to remind people that a Latina and an African American woman, co-executive producers, play a big role in this show," Michele Mills wrote to Twitter. "To the ladies of color in this industry, let this inspire you."

She went into more depth on Facebook, whichDrag Race: All Stars winner Monet X Change posted screenshots of.

"Sadly we lost Jacqueline recently to cancer, but if she were here, she would want people to remember (and be inspired by) the fact that two women of color have such a strong voice on an Emmy winning show," she wrote, referring to the criticism as "erasure."

"Also I want other women of color out there to feel they can aspire to important roles in the industry. In addition to the Story dream team, there are two other female POC in the CoEp/Ep level on Drag Race/Untucked: Mandy and San!" Mills, who also goes by Meesh, wrote. "It just feels important to remind people we are here, don't forget."

None of these women, besides Wilson, were mentioned in Charles' response, though Mills was present on stage when he accepted the award and took questions from press backstage.

X Change wrote that there are also "women on the camera crew, and the MANY women/women of color behind the scenes who take care of us, lotion [us,] corset [us,] feed us, take us to the bathroom on the DAILY when filming."

"Those are the true fucking heroes," she wrote.

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Mikelle Street

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.