Canada’s Drag Race contestant Rita Baga has apologised after she was accused of doing blackface in a Glee-inspired performance several years ago.
The incident resurfaced online after Icesis Couture and Kimora Amour discussed it on The Chop Bloque podcast, igniting discussion about it on social media.
“I can’t see someone who is being elevated to this level,” Kimora stated. “You got to make sure you are someone for the people. You can’t be out there having done things like that. It doesn’t feel right.”
Rita swiftly issued a lengthy apology about the performance in which she acknowledged the “stupid and hurtful mistakes” she has made in the past – including using “a darker foundation” to depict a Black character.
“I can’t undo what I’ve done as a young, privileged and unaware white queen,” she wrote, explaining that she previously apologised in 2020.
“And I am still ashamed,” Rita also told fans. “I don’t know if writing this post is the right thing to do. But I want to be transparent and honest. I’ve been vocal about this numerous times, and informed people about it too.”
— Rita Baga (@ritabagaz) November 6, 2022
The soon-to-be Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs the World star also took the opportunity to condemn the hate Icesis and Kimora have received for bringing the incident back into the spotlight.
“I respect my sisters,” she stated. “And I will never endorse online bullying.”
Rita continued: “I always try to be uplifting for my community. Caring. Loving. Supportive. Discuss important topics for our communities on mainstream platforms. Use my privileges to open doors. The (bad actions I’ve done and regret were a long time ago and I will never repeat them. Never.”
In addition to her apology, the queen called on the Montreal Drag Community “to do better.”
“It’s time to unlearn, learn again, and change,” Rita said. “It’s our responsibility. I heard terrible stories about things that have happened in the dressing room where I work the most, I read hateful comments from white coworkers against the OTBIPOC communities. I will be more vocal now.”