RuPaul Charles took home the Emmy for Outstanding Competition Reality Show Sunday night at the 71st Emmy Awards. While the win is amazing, it was hard to ignore the sea of non-Black, non-drag, non-trans faces of the people who were with him to collect the Emmy.
Basically, there were a lot of white folks on that stage behind RuPaul.
The glaring lack of inclusion behind the scenes of the epic show is unfortunate, particularly because RuPaul’s Drag Race champions the LGBTQ+ community and breathes diversity.
So, when RuPaul and his staff came backstage to the Emmys press room, ESSENCE boldly asked him how he felt about the lack of diversity on the RuPaul’s Drag Race staff.
We asked, “As someone who represents so strongly for the LGBT+ community… Do you feel like it’s important for that to be represented behind the scenes as well?”
RuPaul responded—first, by interrupting, then, by cracking a cringe-worthy “BLT” joke. “I love myself some bacon, lettuce, tomato,” the icon said with a giggle.
He then reiterated that he is a Black, gay man who is also a drag queen. “Check, check and check,” he said as if checking off boxes on a diversity and inclusion survey. RuPaul then looked around the stage at the people who stood with him—as they looked around at each other, seemingly confused by the question—and proclaimed that there were “lots of different types of people.”
He then finished by glossing over his own struggles of reaching success and flopped an infamous quote from Miss Sophia (Oprah Winfrey) in The Color Purple: “All my life I had to fight.”
Check out the full video above.