Sometime over the weekend Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, one of a multi-pronged hosting panel for the debut season of Canada's Drag Race, deactivated his Twitter account. The move comes after Bowyer-Chapman was widely criticized for his critiques on the show.
Mostly through its first season, Canada's Drag Race is the latest expansion of the RuPaul's Drag Race franchise. It is the third iteration of the season that doesn't boast the empire's namesake as host. Instead, CraveTV chose to name a trio of judges who also function as hosts, while also bringing on a guest host every week. Bowyer-Chapman, a model and actor, is joined by Brooke Lynn Hytes and Stacey McKenzie as weekly judges.
As the show has aired, the judges have quickly become the most criticized of the series. Fans have lambasted them for what they call either unfair, unequal, or unfounded critiques. In Bowyer-Chapman's case, fans have zeroed in on what many have criticized as a mean-spiritedness. And while his intention may be to give a Simon Cowell-esque dose of tough love, and take that to an extreme for a compelling television character, it has brought out the anger of fans who have called him a bully, demanded that he be fired, and tweeted insults to the star directly.
While Bowyer-Chapman certainly could use a lesson in delivery — in a particularly nasty but made for television moment, when Jimbo explains that she couldn't paint her whole body because of time, Bowyer-Chapman points out that all of the competitors have the same amount of time and she should "use it better maybe" — it's curious that a large part of the critiques leveled at him are based on him not having been a drag performer. For the history of Drag Race, the lion's share of judges, both on the permanent panel and off of it, have not been drag performers. The judges have a healthy knowledge of drag, and have their expertise from elsewhere in the entertainment industry, judging the queens on a combination of the two as Drag Race has functioned as a stepping stone for performers to come out of the clubs and into mainstream entertainment. His history as an actor certainly speaks to that.
Bowyer-Chapman joins RuPaul in having completely deactivated his Twitter. The show's namesake also wiped his Instagram. Michelle Visage, who will appear as a guest host on Canada's Drag Race's next episode also recently wiped all of her tweets from her Twitter account though it remains available. While Bowyer-Chapman's Instagram account remains available, weeks ago he limited who could respond to his posts. Drag Race season six contestant Vivacious recently spoke out about it.
"The bullying has to stop," she wrote. "Imagine if straight Christians woke up everyday to target you with hateful words and threats."