The ongoing drama surrounding VH1’s choice to hire Wendy Williams for its Fierce Fridays lead-in of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 has picked up major traction in the media, thanks to several former contenders of the popular reality competition speaking out on the controversy.
As noted just last week on the Inquisitr, the 52-year-old ex-radio hostess and talk show notable has been called out more than once in the past for continuously making anti-gay comments on her TV program, and for also never righting a wrong involving drag entertainer Erickatoure Aviance and LGBTQ personality Jonny McGovern during a 2009 live taping of The Wendy Williams Show.
Popular Drag Race Season 5 competitor Detox, who returned to the famed workroom for last year’s All-Stars 2, was one of the first alums to touch base on the matter in an Instagram post that noted the latter incident by way of a Facebook update from another drag performer, Stephanie Stone.
“I remember when Wendy had Erickatoure removed from her studio for being in drag,” Stone initially shared on Facebook.
“Now she’s doing the pre-show for Drag Race. When are folks going to realize not everyone’s [a] friend of the [LGBTQ] community?”
Detox would go on to mirror Stone’s anger-induced sentiment in her Instagram post.
“This is important,” the performer typed in all-caps alongside a screen grab of Stone’s Facebook post, as Mic reported.
“This is why I say Wendy Williams should not be hosting the RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party on VH1. She is not an ally. She is transphobic. If anything, she is an enemy [who is] profiting off our community.”
When asked for further comment by Mic, Stone dived deeper into the matter.
“I just think we have to be very aware of our history and who our true allies to the community are,” Stone explained.
“Ericka was clearly mistreated by [Wendy Williams] and never received a direct apology.”
Among the many who agreed with Detox and Stone’s comments were current Drag Race judge Michelle Visage, who responded to Detox’s IG slamming of Wendy Williams with an affirmative, “yep,” and All-Stars 2 winner Alaska Thunderf**k, also known as Alaska 5000, who relayed her disappointment to Unicorn Booty.
“I certainly don’t think she is the right person to be hosting our community’s flagship television program,” Alaska remarked.
“I think it’s good for Drag Race to be moving toward the mainstream [and] I’m grateful for the its move to VH1,” she continued, “[but] our message [as members of the LGBTQ community] is one of love and acceptance and truth and strength and perseverance, and I believe it should reach everyone, near and far.”
Outside of the media, another person directly connected to the 2009 Aviance/Williams incident would go on to not only share his own version of the troubling event, but also offer a piece of the overall story that had not yet been publicized.
Openly gay singer-songwriter Adam Joseph, a constant collaborator and close friend of both Erickatoure and Jonny McGovern (Joseph also acts as the Paul Schaffer-like music man of McGovern’s YouTube chat series, Hey Qween!), would take to his Facebook on Tuesday to relay that a move from the gab queen to make amends to Aviance was even more problematic than her first experience at Williams’ show.
“They [personally] invited [Erickatoure] back,” Adam acknowledged after first reiterating the tale of the previous occurrence, “but they invited her back to the Halloween show taping where the entire audience was in costume.”
Joseph, who was also in attendance during the second taping, then went on to say that a third attempt by Erickatoure to be a normal Wendy Williams Show audience member played out just like it did the first time.
“Ericka went back (in drag) to a third taping of the show with Jonny McGovern without being personally invited by producers,” Adam addressed, “[but] she was pulled aside once again by the producers and told she could not be in the audience because of what she was wearing.”
“In the end, I don’t know how much this actually has to do with Wendy Williams herself and if she was ever even informed of the situation,” he concluded, “[but] the producers of the show used Ericka when they wanted great costumes in the audience.”
“[However,] any other day of the year, her looks were not welcome in the audience of the show — a true real life example of shade.”
Reps for Wendy Williams, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and VH1 have yet to comment on the latest claims.
[Featured Image by Teresa Kroeger/Stringer/Getty Images]