AceShowbiz - Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman was honored when he was chosen as one of the judges for "RuPaul's Drag Race" spin-off series in Canada. However, the magical feeling immediately disappeared upon experiencing bullying from the show's local racist fans.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the "UnREAL" star said, "I came into Canada's 'Drag Race' with a false sense of security because I had built that trust with the producers of the American show, but this was a different set of producers." Crave and Toronto studio Blue Ant Media partnered to handle daily production of Canada's "Drag Race", while some international versions of Drag Race are produced or co-produced by World of Wonder.
Jeffrey, who is openly gay and biracial, recalled the moments when he was made uncomfortable. It included when a "white, gay, male showrunner pulled me aside, right before I was to meet the queens for the first time, and told me I was the 'man-candy that was there for the queens to drool over,' " he said.
"All of the judges had signed these very ironclad contracts stating that we would not fraternize with any of the contestants or the crew off-set that we would have no personal relationships, or dialogue, or contact with the queens whatsoever, other than when we were filming," he explained. "The queens were flirting with me and being suggestive in some ways. My walls went up immediately. I realized there were different expectations being put on me that were not being placed on the rest of the cast, and nobody was going to protect me."
Jeffrey also divulged that he was asked to be the "sassy one" on the judging panel. Additionally, the producers would give judges earpieces to feed them prompts of negative criticism. "Even if we didn't have anything negative to say, you had to come up with something negative," he divulged.
He also claimed that he was targetted by "Drag Race" fans. "The amount of times that I was called a stupid n****r in my inbox from white, gay men was shocking -- specifically because we were in the midst of a racial justice awakening," he shared. "I think that with me receiving all of the hate, and racism, and harassment, and death threats -- it's shone a light on the insanity of it. It really did show a lot of people how dark and how toxic the 'Drag Race' trolls have become over the past couple of years and how unacceptable it is."
"After playing a reality TV show producer on 'UnREAL' for four seasons, and spending time behind the scenes with reality TV show producers, I was aware of how dark and how shady that world can be," Jeffrey concluded.
Producers for Canada's "Drag Race" and World of Wonder have yet to comment on Jeffrey's claims.