Todrick Hall has addressed The Real Friends of WeHo backlash in a letter to the LGBTQ+ community.
On 20 January, the controversial reality show made its debut on MTV.
Taking inspiration from the hit Real Housewives franchise, the series follows the lives of six gay men in West Hollywood: Canada’s Drag Race judge Brad Goreski, singer Todrick Hall, actor Curtis Hamilton, television host Jaymes Vaughan and influencer Joey Zauzig.
However before its premiere, the show received backlash from LGBTQ+ viewers after the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race was shortened from 60 minutes to 40 (without ads) to make room for the new series.
According to Deadline, the show’s timeslot – which is after Drag Race and before Untucked – is meant to build a “destination night by using [Drag Race] to launch the series.
Ahead of the premiere, Hall took to social media to address the criticisms in a letter to the LGBTQ+ community.
“When our LGBTQ+ show was announced, you’d think any pushback would’ve come from the church or conservatives upset with 3 hours of queer programming on a mega network,” he wrote.
“But a closer look would show you that the call was coming from inside the house. We fight for acceptance, yet we don’t accept our own.”
Towards the end of his statement, Hall refuted the claims that Drag Race season 15 episodes were made shorter for The Real Freinds of WeHo.
“MTV would not ask RuPaul to cut his/her Emmy Award-winning hit on its 15th season to accommodate our little six-episode show,” he said,
Todrick addresses the queer community in lengthy letter shared to social media:
“When our LGBTQ+ show was announced you’d think any pushback would’ve come from the church or conservatives. But a closer look would show you that the call was coming from inside the house.” pic.twitter.com/FnrLshSuOm
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) January 22, 2023
After stating the scheduling decisions are made months in advance, Hall condemned the viral Change.org petition calling for the show’s cancellation.
“Let’s practice FAQ-checking things before we start creating petitions against shows that are giving queer people on/off camera job opportunities.”
As of this writing, the petition has reached close to 30,000 signatures.
Hall’s statement came a few days after his cast mates Goreski, Vaughn, and Hamilton addressed the controversy in an interview with Out.
“The [Drag Race] fanbase is always super passionate. That’s why we love them,” Goreski told the publication. “They’re right to be upset if they want to be upset, but as talent on the show, we’re not responsible for where the show ends up.”
Vaughn, who is a self-proclaimed “superfan”, said he would tune into “120 minutes” of RuPaul’s Drag Race and “if there’s anything I can do to get that, that’s what I would like”.
Highlighting the lack of representation for Black LGBTQ+ people on reality television, Hamilton added: “I know some negativity is probably to come as well, but at the end of the day, I think it’s going to make me a stronger me.
“All of us need to support one another, and we’re all in this together.”
The Real Friends of WeHo airs every Friday on MTV after a brand new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15.