Last week, season nine of RuPaul's Drag Race began, airing on VH1 for the first time after many years of airing on LGBT channel Logo. Although this move was clearly intended to take the show to a more mainstream platform and therefore bring in a whole new generation of fans, it also obviously meant that plenty of changes were made - and some of the previous contestants (and hosts) aren't too happy.
Season five and All Stars season two contestant Detox has now spoken out against the decision to appoint Wendy Williams as the co-host of the RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party / pre-show on VH1, stating that Williams has been transphobic and homophobic in the past, and is therefore not an ally to the drag community or the LGBTQIA community.
Utilising a screenshot from New York City drag queen Stephanie Stone, Detox discussed an incident from 2009 where Williams allegedly treated drag performer Erickatoure Aviance badly, purely because he attended her show in drag - she reportedly refused to allow him to appear on camera, or even stand near her.
Detox shared the screenshot with the caption, "THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!! This is why I say Wendy Williams should NOT be hosting the RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party on VH1! She is NOT an ally. She is transphobic. If anything, she is an ENEMY. An enemy profiting off of our community. Fuck. That. #ImpeachWendyWilliams ok fine. Just #FireWendyWilliams."
One comment on the post also listed a range of other unethical incidents that Wendy Williams had allegedly been a part of:
One commenter said that Williams may have changed since these alleged incidents, to which Detox replied and said that her lack of allyship and negative behaviour towards LGBTQIA and drag communities continued even during the broadcast, where she would regularly roll her eyes at fellow co-host Ross Matthews and seemed "annoyed to even have to be doing it".
Another commenter also made mention of Williams' many transphobic comments about Caitlyn Jenner. The host has regularly deadnamed the reality star, as well as purposely referring to her with male pronouns, despite Jenner requesting female pronouns after she announced her transition in 2015. At one point, Williams told her audience that Caitlyn was not a woman if she had not had Sex Reassignment Surgery.
She has also been accused of casually using the phrase "no homo" on multiple occasions.
Detox published the same post about Williams to her Instagram account, where Drag Race judge Michelle Visage commented a simple (yet telling), "Yup."
Social media shows that Detox and Michelle Visage aren't alone in their sentiments; there have been posts criticising Williams' appointment ever since the first episode of the new season aired last week, and even more have sprouted up after Detox alerted her fanbase to Williams' past homophobic and transphobic actions.
Stephanie Stone gave a statement to Mic elaborating on her original status, saying, "I just think we have to be very aware of our history and who our true allies to the community are. Ericka[toure Aviance] was clearly mistreated by [Williams] and never received a direct apology."
Winner of Rupaul's Drag Race All Stars 2, Alaska, has also spoken out agreeing with Detox's post, and gave a statement to Unicorn Booty explaining that she believes Williams has acted in a "transphobic" manner, particularly in her coverage of Caitlyn Jenner's transition.
"I certainly don't think she is the right person to be hosting our community's flagship television program.
"I think it's good for Drag Race to be moving toward the mainstream. I'm grateful for the move to VH1. I'm glad that one million people watched the first episode of Season 9. Our message is one of love and acceptance and truth and strength and perseverance, and I believe it should reach everyone, near and far."
Williams is yet to speak out on the backlash.