RuPaul addressed the photos on the show (Picture: BBC)
RuPaul has finally addressed Scarlet Adams’ racist past, confronting the drag queen on this week’s episode of Drag Race Down Under.
Scarlet, who is part of the first-ever line-up of the Australian and New Zealand spin-off, was called out recently for wearing blackface, brownface and mocking multiple ethnicities in her old routines in unearthed photos.
Felicia Foxx, an Aboriginal queen, posted a string of photos on Instagram showing Scarlet in racially inappropriate costumes.
These included photos of her dressed like a Japanese geisha, wearing a native American headdress, and mocking Aboriginals by wearing blacked-out teeth.
During a recent episode of the competition Scarlet, who is the current frontrunner, addressed the photos with her fellow competitors.
‘I’ve said and done things in drag that I regret a lot, when I was a lot younger and stupid and naive; trying desperately to make people laugh,’ she said.
Scarlet Adams was confronted on the show (Picture: BBC)
‘I have, in the past, like a lot of other queens, done blackface before, which I really regret. I am disgusted in myself that I did those things.’
Etcetera Etcetera was quick to respond, criticising Scarlet for her actions. She said that she didn’t think someone wearing blackface was an ‘honest mistake’.
Art Simone added: ‘It’s strange to appropriate someone’s culture to make a joke of it.’
Scarlet explained that it’s been hard for her to unlearn things that have been ingrained into her since she was a child.
Even though Scarlet said this wasn’t an excuse, the other queens questioned whether her explanation was enough.
‘I think casual racism in conversation is very different to painting your face in blackface and performing a number for money. A lot of drag scenes are extremely racist,’ Etcetera continued.
‘I see drag queens saying, “It was just a joke, you need to get over it.” But, while people of colour and trans people are still facing violence every single day, from the systematic oppression that we live in, it isn’t a joke to me.’
RuPaul addressed the photos after the queens showcased their marketing commercials for their new brand of yeast spread, giving Scarlet the ‘opportunity’ to explain herself.
‘I can’t deny that that happened. As a dumb, ignorant teenager, I made some mistakes that I’m really not proud of and every day, I regret those decisions,’ she said.
‘I regret the fact that I used my platform as a performer to ridicule people who have faced systemic racism for hundreds of years and I’m so ashamed of the person I once was. I’m really sorry to you and to everyone that I have hurt.’
RuPaul allowed Scarlet to explain herself (Picture: Kevin Mazur)
RuPaul replied: ‘Now, I’m sure there are people that would want me to cancel you right here, right now. But, I’d rather this be a lesson in humility and accountability, and I pray that all of us can learn and grow from our mistakes.’
When Felicia shared the racist photos Scarlet directly commented on one of the posts, trying to own up to her mistakes.
She wrote: ‘Felicia, I’m so sorry you had to see this and I feel awful, I have so much respect for you. I have addressed this a few times. It’s on my Instagram at the very top under highlights.’
The queen added that she’s ‘not proud of her past’ and that she’s ‘not that person anymore.’
All of the Australian and New Zealand queens (Picture: BBC)
Scarlet initially spoke out about the photos in a statement on Facebook in June 2020, and has since updated the message with a ‘2021’ segment.
‘In recent days I have heard stories repeated about my past; rumours that I would like the opportunity to address directly and honestly,’ she penned.
‘Despite this being a story I am deeply ashamed of, and something I had tried to forget. I’ve come to realise in recent years that taking responsibility and admitting my mistakes is an important learning experience, and something that has helped shape me as a performer, and mature as a person.
‘There is no way to sugar-coat it, when I was a teenager roughly eight years ago I performed in blackface/cultural appropriation. I was young and I was ignorant. I am no longer that person.’
Drag Race Down Under airs every Sunday on BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.