It's hard work representing an entire community on one of the biggest platforms the world has to offer, and that's something RuPaul found out all over again this week when comments he made in an interview suggested that he would only ever have biological males compete on 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in the future.
Clear in his approach to casting the series, which features a bunch of drag queens all fighting it out for a cash prize and the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar", RuPaul claimed that the art of drag was a kick in the teeth to male-dominated culture. Rejecting masculinity at its most toxic seemed to have been the aim of his comments, but they were taken to mean that no transgender women would ever be allowed to compete.
It's worth noting that a number of drag queens to have competed on the show are transgender, but either came out during the filming of their respective series, or after their time on the show had come to an end.
Taking to his Twitter account, RuPaul has started to roll back on his comments, and apologised: "Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers."
He added in a second tweet: "In the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the only thing we've ever screened for is charisma uniqueness nerve and talent. And that will never change."
On the whole, the LGBT+ community seems accepting of the apology and willing to forgive RuPaul, but there are those questioning the legitimacy of the comments. A vocal portion think it's simple damage control so that RuPaul can continue to be a success in the spotlight, but if we are unwilling to ever give second chances to those we admire, should we ever expect the same when we make our own mistakes?
'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' season 3 continues on VH1 in the US and on Comedy Central in the UK.