“Any other show, people would be screaming about demeaning women and racism.”
India Willoughby has slammed Drag Race UK stars Sum Ting Wong and Cheryl Hole for their drag names.
When Sum Ting Wong sashayed into the werkroom, she told audiences that her name – which comes from a racist viral prank video – is “a reclamation for those little microaggressional racist digs that people give out”.
Cheryl Hole’s name doesn’t need much explaining, unless you’re from across the pond and don’t know who five-time UK chart-topping British sensation Cheryl Cole is (watch her Call My Name video here and you’ll become a stan, fact).
Willoughby – who once compared drag to blackface – seems to think their names are racist and sexist.
“Cheryl Hole, Sum Ting Wong… horrible. A career ender for Benny Hill,” the journalist wrote in a now deleted tweet. “Any other show, people would be screaming about demeaning women and racism. But because it’s drag. Endorsed by celebs too.”
British drag queen Ophelia Love came to Sum Ting Wong’s defence, telling the former Celebrity Big Brother star that the contestant is “actually Asian” and reiterated her point that it’s “about reclaiming the micro aggressive comments”.
Cheryl hit back at Willoughby, writing: “My name is a pun on Cheryl Cole – someone who inspired a hell of a lot of my childhood, my creativity and my work. Would you prefer it was Cheryl Mole, Pole, Troll, Soul, Bowl, LOL.
“Drag is about bending the realms & parodying reality… But sure India.”
Drag Race UK airs every Thursday on BBC Three. The first episode is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
RuPaul returns as host and main judge alongside best squirrel friend Michelle Visage, as well as newcomers Alan and Graham Norton, who will rotate every episode like Ross Matthews and Carsson Kressley on the American original.
The queens competing for the title of the UK’s First Drag Superstar are as follows: Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, Cheryl Hole, Crystal, Divina De Campo, Gothy Kendoll, Scaredy Kat, Sum Ting Wong, Vinegar Strokes and The Vivienne.
It features a star-studded line-up of celebrity guests such as Lorraine Kelly, Stacey Dooley, Cheryl, Maisie Williams, Geri Halliwell, Andrew Garfield, Michaela Coel, Jade Thirwall, Twiggy, MNEK, Curtis Pritchard and AJ Pritchard.
Read our exclusive interviews with all ten fierce queens here and get your jush with the official trailer for Drag Race UK below.