“There is no place for hate in the Canada’s Drag Race community, or anywhere.”
Crave, the production company behind Canada’s Drag Race, have issued a formal statement regarding the treatment of Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman at the hands of ‘fans’.
Earlier this week, the actor – who judges the series alongside Brooke Lynn Hytes and Stacey McKenzie – deactivated his Twitter account after being inundated with hateful comments from viewers over various critiques he’s given to contestants such as Ilona Verley and Jimbo.
A petition to remove Jeffrey from the judging panel has also received over 2,000 signatures.
In a statement, Crave condemned the messages towards Jeffrey, saying fans have “let their passion cross the boundary into harassment”.
“The popularity of Canada’s Drag Race speaks volumes to the immense talent of our queens and phenomenal judges, and we couldn’t be more proud of them,” they wrote.
“Available in more than 160 countries around the world, Canada’s Drag Race has an international fan base, and it’s unfortunate that some of those fans have let their passion cross the boundary into harassment by posting hateful comments about our queens and judges online.
“There is no place for hate in the Canada’s Drag Race community, or anywhere. Our show encourages inclusivity and acceptance of all people, and we hope that viewers who haven’t shared in that spirit, will respect that message.”
Drag Race UK star Crystal, who guest starred on the sixth episode of Canada’s Drag Race, criticised fans for their behaviour towards Jeffrey, tweeting: “So the black queer judge on Canada’s Drag Race gets bullied off twitter. Ya’ll happy?
“The main arguments I’ve seen are accusations of “inauthenticity” (as if YOU know what’s authentic for him), and bad critiques (but none of the other judges are getting that half as hard). It’s a pile on. And it’s racist. And for what? Clout? Bet you would have loved a good old fashioned public stoning.
“Honestly – search his name and just look at the endless endless nasty tweets. It’s so depressing. Are you contributing to this? Wild idea, but maybe put that energy into someone who’s actually done something… bad?”
Several ‘fans’ proceeded to disagree with Crystal in the comments section of her tweet, and recalled Jeffrey’s critiques to Ilona for the Canadian ‘Tuck’-shedo runway, for which he was accused of body-shaming.
When we spoke to Lemon following her elimination last week, she said it’s “ridiculous” that fans feel the need to spew hate to the cast on social media.
“If you like someone, amazing. You should tell them that you love them. And if you aren’t a big fan of someone, that’s also totally fine, it’s your opinion,” she explained. “You’re welcome to hate or dislike whatever queen, but you don’t need to share it with them. You don’t need to tag them in that post. You don’t need to post it to your Twitter feed.
“Text your friend about it if you have to get it off your chest. At the end of the day, we’re all people – even though we look like circus clowns sometimes – and we are affected by these comments. Pay attention to what you say online.”
Canada’s Drag Race airs every Thursday in Canada and the United States on Crave and WOW Presents Plus, and every Friday in the UK on BBC iPlayer.