Petitions have gone unanswered calling for VH1 to dump Wendy Williams and give fans who watch RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 someone else to host the show’s live stream. As the show hits Episode 3 tonight, it seems like the controversial talk show host will be living out the season.
— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) April 7, 2017
For those of you late to the viewing party, Wendy has been torn apart by the Drag Race fan base for her past transphobic comments on Caitlyn Jenner and an incident where a drag queen was booted from her show audience. Though she, or rather The Wendy Williams Show, apologized for these incidents, watching her host Fierce Fridays has made it abundantly clear that she doesn’t know about, or care about, drag or trans issues any more than she did when she made the incendiary comments. Even former contestants have come forward to condemn the decision to feature her on the show, including All Stars 2 winner Alaska Thunderf**k 5000, previously reported Inquisitr.
“I used to watch Wendy’s Hot Topics daily, and some of the things she said during Caitlyn Jenner’s very public transition were beyond questionable. At that time, much of the nation was learning to navigate trans visibility for the first time and needed guidance and clarity from the media. But instead Williams repeatedly spouted ignorance and transphobic rhetoric to a daily audience of millions. I don’t watch her show anymore. And I certainly don’t think she is the right person to be hosting our community’s flagship television program.”
It’s especially disappointing to see Wendy Williams host Fierce Fridays when there’s such a wealth of celebrities who have made clear their addiction to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race every Friday night. Sure, viewers can’t ask for Lady Gaga to show up every week to gab with Ross Matthews about the latest episode, but there’s plenty of people out there whose schedules aren’t chock full — even if they could just make it to one live stream. Here is a list of other, better choices.
Former RuPaul’s Drag Race Queens
This seems like the most obvious choice. There have been well over 100 contestants on the show’s nine seasons — 11 if you count both All Stars — and while some of them have shot to superstardom, there are plenty of worthy female impersonators who don’t get nearly the attention that they deserve. Stacy Layne Matthews from Season 3, anybody? Even Jasmine Masters would be more entertaining than Wendy.
Not everyone was crazy about Santino during the first six seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Rice occasionally clashed with fan favorites, and almost always clashed with Michelle Visage. But his critiques were often relevant on the panel. Plus, he provided a point of view from someone who clearly loved drag, unlike the visible disinterest coming from Ms. Williams.
Joanne the Scammer
Has Joanne the Scammer finally transcended the title of social media star? A spot hosting RuPaul’s Drag Race would just be another jewel in her (probably stolen) crown. Joanne has had feature stories in People, Paper, and recently made the cover of gay magazine Attitude. She’s too messy to ever make it to the actual competition, but we’d love to see her rob Wendy of her hosting duties that is.
Amy Sedaris is probably the most under-used female comedian in the United States. She’s already a huge Drag Race fan — sharing guest judging duties with her brother, bestselling author David Sedaris, on Season 8 — and even knows her way around a wig. Bonus if she shows up dressed as Jerri Blank every week.
Okay, yes, John Waters is an icon, and even having him host a Waters-themed bad taste extravaganza on Season 7 should have us all sufficiently nauseated for as long as RuPaul’s Drag Race is still streaming. But by his own admission, his work load has slowed down significantly. In a recent interview, he said that he’s kind of given up the fight on battling it out for funding, saying he already has a lot of his own material out there. Who better than to benefit from being on Drag Race? Just like the show gave the art of drag a massive new audience, Waters himself could definitely benefit from being on TV every week in front of an audience that already has a predilection for the weird.
Cristian Siriano became something of a lightning rod for the gripes of trans community about the tacit support from the rest of the LGBT community. His catch phrase on his season of Project Runway was “hot tra**y mess,” a slur that few gay men in the public eye would dare use today. But unlike Wendy, Siriano clearly understood why people got so upset about him using the term and came back to sincerely apologize for it. It’s a Ru-demption for everyone.
Is there a person more worthy of hosting RuPaul’s Drag Race? Stop thinking. The answer is no. Andersen is tour de force behind RuPaul herself, and we’d get to watch some real expertise on drag between commercial breaks — as opposed to watching Williams refer to the show as “Drag Race…RuPaul.”
Sharon Needles sang, “I Wish I Were Amanda LePore” on one of her most popular singles, and she’s not the first drag queen to have the thought. LePore is the original plastic club kid, and she’d no doubt have plenty of insight after watching drag’s rise to mainstream from the subversive underground.
Okay, yes, if we’re talking about booting Wendy Williams for being offensive, Lady Bunny might seem like an illogical choice to replace her. But this pick would give Lady Bunny the spotlight she deserves, while still managing not to step in RuPaul’s light.
Even with Wendy Williams as our guide, it’s impossible not to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 stream live on VH1. For once, fans have easy access to the show as it airs, and the glittering bunch of girls is one of the most sickening batches yet.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions]