RuPaul Interview

Is ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ the Most Radical Show on TV?

New York Times MagazineJanuary 24, 2018

On a soundstage deep in the hills of Los Angeles one morning last August, RuPaul Charles and several drag queens made their way to a set that had been transformed into a simulacrum of the reality-TV show “The Bachelor.” Lacy strands of lights dripped down plastic boxwood hedges, and a row of white fluted columns framed a velvety red strip of carpet. A hot tub bubbled quietly in a corner. The contestants arranged themselves onto a set of bleachers to be appraised by the dashing bachelor, who in this scene was played by the actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, best known for his role on the Lifetime television drama “UnREAL.” They were filming the latest season of the reality competition show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and the day’s challenge was meant to showcase the competitors’ acting abilities. The challenge, called “The Bitchelorette,” was a parody of the farcical dynamics that play out on “The Bachelor” each season. The goal was not to win Bowyer-Chapman’s heart but rather to see who could perform — satirize, really — stereotypes of femininity with enough humor to impress the judges.

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Gay Culture

Real Talk with RuPaul

VultureMarch 23, 2016

RuPaul was born November 17, which makes him a Scorpio — a detail he has said accounts for his observant and analytical nature during interviews. I could feel his gaze settle on me as he sat down on a gold couch at the London Hotel in New York, wearing rectangular black glasses and a suit made of thick brocade in a resplendent print of pink roses. This was not the light and effervescent RuPaul-in-drag the American public has come to know since the release of his single, “Supermodel (You Better Work),” in 1992, but rather workroom Ru: serious, sober, and slightly intimidating. During our conversation, RuPaul, 55, clapped back at critics who said RuPaul’s Drag Race used transphobic language, dismissed Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle as a ripoff of his show, and explained why educating younger generations is a waste of everyone’s time. Grab your reading glasses, because the library is open.

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Marriage Equality

RuPaul on Marriage Equality

VarietyJune 30, 2015

Singer and actor RuPaul has made over a dozen albums, and hosts Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” In 1999, he was GLAAD’s entertainer of the year.

What is the role of Hollywood in shaping the conversation about same-sex marriage?

Hollywood does not have a moral obligation; Hollywood has a monetary obligation. Hollywood is a reflection of how people live their lives. It doesn’t dictate. I always laugh when people try to blame everything on Hollywood. Hollywood is reflecting our spending habits.

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RuPaul Article

What RuPaul Can’t Live Without

New York MagazineMarch 24, 2017

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked RuPaul, whose show RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres its ninth season at 8pm on VH1 tonight (with Monday encores on Logo), which items he can’t live without.

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Product Placement

RuPaul Dresses Up Product Placement

AdWeekAugust 10, 2014

Not long ago, brand integrations on television could be kind of a drag. To get noticed, marketers relied on standard, sometimes clumsy product placement tactics like putting digitally enhanced samples on an emcee’s desk or filling a sitcom family’s refrigerator with goods.

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RuPaul Article

RuPaul: America’s first lady of drag covers EW’s LGBTQ issue

Entertainment WeeklyJune 15, 2017

Drag has been around since the days of Dionysus, but no ancient Greek ever sashayed nearly as statuesquely as RuPaul Charles. The world’s most famous and influential drag performer took a long (and still) marginalized art form and used it to create an empire — and in doing so, built a shimmering 30-year-long career as twisted as pop culture itself to become one of the most important LGBTQ icons of our time.

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RuPaul Article

The World According to RuPaul

PaperJune 9, 2017

On a recent beautiful Friday evening in late May, I found myself crammed alongside hordes of other queer men inside a well-known gay bar in Brooklyn’s heavily gentrified Williamsburg. In about a half an hour, a large screen plastered onto one of the bar’s walls would project a live stream of the newest episode of the wildly popular drag queen competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race. During the commercial breaks, two New York City-based drag queens—Thorgy Thor, a contestant from Drag Race’s eighth season, and Aquaria, a popular choice to join the franchise’s next season—would entertain the audience with improvised banter about the show and, well, whatever else was on their minds.

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RuPaul Article

How to Win RuPaul’s Drag Race

VultureMarch 31, 2017

In the immortal words of some queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race: This isn’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race! No baby, this is the fiercest competition on television, and you’d be better be able to pull out all the death drops if you want to win. RuPaul’s Drag Race, now on Friday nights at 8 pm on VH1, has entered its ninth official season now, meaning that like a conscientious bottom, this new group of girls can get prepared. In an act of benevolence, RuPaul didn’t eliminate anyone from the premiere episode, and instead — twist! — is bringing back a former contestant. So with the first elimination challenge coming up, what are the tricks you should have tucked away? Here are some tips that would have totally been helpful before you got eliminated.

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