RuPaul’s Drag Race Under Fire for Mocking Mental Health
RuPaul's Drag Race takes the joke too far with this week's challenge.
by Amy Walters
The Queens served the yin to their yang in this week's Evil Twins maxi challenge! 😇/😈
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) June 8, 2018
The most popular Drag Race show is under fire this week due to one of the challenges mocking bipolar disorder. In this week’s episode, the final five were asked to design two costumes, one for a ‘good twin’ and one for an ‘evil twin’. However, after RuPaul discussed the challenge to the queens, he told them to “board the bipolar express”.
The comment was considered flippant and offensive. There are over 5.7 million people in the U.S. who become diagnosed with the condition every year. I know the show is meant to be all sh*ts and giggles, but this time, it wasn’t funny. Fans of the show were disgusted by the lack of insensitivity that was shown by this ‘joke’, and people took to Twitter to complain.
woah woah woah, "all aboard the bipolar express"? Ru? what?
— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) June 8, 2018
THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS great cheers RuPaul 😒😒😒😒
— Sophie Benjamin (@sophbenj) June 8, 2018
the problem w rupaul saying 'bipolar express' is that this casual use of bipolar as an adjective/joke will make others think that it's okay for them to grossly misuse the word too, same as when miz cracker said it in meet the queens.
— kat 🤡 18 (@kaatherrinne1) June 8, 2018
Unfortunately, for some fans, this has broken their relationship with the show. As they may have found comfort in being who they truly are by watching the show, they now find it hard to be a fan of something that openly, and so casually, mocks something as serious as this.
Also fuck #DragRace tonight. Seriously, trying to do a good and evil thing and then calling it "bipolar" is not only fucking wrong but it's outright dangerous to how people are perceived with it. This is supposed to be my happy place show not this and it can go fuck itself.
— Kim Void (@aproclivity) June 8, 2018
I'm a big fan of @RuPaulsDragRace. I also have bipolar. It not actually super funny. So maybe @RuPaul can toss bipolar jokes, and all other mental disability jokes, into the same dustbin as 'shemail'. #MentalHealth #bipolar #neuroqueer #DragRace #ableism
— John Blatzheim (@johnbltz) June 8, 2018
If you didn’t take issue with @RuPaul using references to bipolar and dissociative identity disorder to introduce the evil twin challenge, then maybe you should reconsider your relationship with mental health stigma!
— Joseph John Sanchez III (@JJS_III) June 8, 2018
Especially in the light of Kate Spade’s and Anthony Bourdain’s death, who both sadly took their lives earlier this week, we should not be discussing mental health so casually and flippantly. Mental health is a serious issue, and statistics have recently shown that suicide rates have increased by 30% in the U.S. For fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, who may suffer, or know somebody who suffers from this condition, this thoughtless comment could have a serious effect on them. RuPaul’s Drag Race is a show that is meant to celebrate being unique, and who you truly are – not one that mocks people because of who they are.
Do you think RuPaul’s Drag Race took it too far this time? Do you feel like the show may lose fans due to this controversial comment? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.