11th season Drag Race winner Yvie Oddly envisions a world where drag can thrive without the approval of TV producers. Or, as she calls them in a series of tweets, “the greediest, most-calculating, capitalist culture thieves.”
On Monday, after catching up on the current season of Drag Race All Stars, Yvie Oddly tweeted in praise of the show’s talent, saying that “drag artists are and have ALWAYS been the lifeblood” of the show.
Her praise, however, did not extend to the World of Wonder production company. “They f*ck with real people’s lives, career opportunities, and health,” she said of the show’s producers. “They drive themselves home in their luxury cars when their contestants are sleep-deprived, depressed, and DRASTICALLY underpaid for their contributions to the cultural phenomenon.”
“Then they tell themselves they’re good people for showcasing queer content and creating opportunities for us while ignoring the irreparable damage they cause, and creating a chokehold monopoly on how drag artists can succeed,” she continued.
Yvie Oddly cited the fact that drag kings have never been featured on the show and out trans drag queens were only featured recently (in 2017 with season 9’s Peppermint). This, she says, was only after producers “realized how lucrative that representation was in the culture wars.”
While she maintained that she is grateful for the show overall, she’s “hopeful for a future where queer people have opportunities to flourish outside of a fake competition to make a few rich old gays richer.”
Responding to a PopCrave compilation of her tweets, Yvie Oddly alleged that it took the producers over a year to pay out her winnings—despite the following season’s winner, Jaida Essence Hall, receiving hers months before.
As for why she went back to participate in All Stars 7, she admitted that it was “foolish” but also did not regret having “milked the system.” She concluded by wishing for a world where drag queens don’t need a “seal of appRUval” before they succeed—“One that isn’t solely controlled by the kinds of people who would preach “we’re all born naked and the rest is drag” before condemning someone for their ‘boy body’ (in 2023!) all while cashing in on their catchphrases and trauma.”
The digital education course has been three years in the making.
Yvie Oddly’s comments strike a particular nerve just as Pride month begins, when the LGBTQ+ community is bombarded by rainbow capitalism (until those corporations face so much as an ounce of pressure from the right). But Yvie Oddly’s here to remind everyone that sometimes the call is coming from inside the house.