Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman on drag racing in Canada and online bullies
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman may have given up on hosting Canada’s Drag Race, but now the Canadian actor and model is talking about the intense online bullying and behind-the-scenes turmoil, which caused him to step away from the show.
Disclaimer: This story contains details about bullying and attempted suicide, and may be distressing for some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support, call QLife on 1800 184 527 or via chat in line.
In an in-depth interview with Hollywood journalist, Bowyer-Chapman discussed the toxic environment of the production, as well as how the slingshots and arrows directed at him by the show’s fan base affected him emotionally.
A dream job goes wrong
Bowyer-Chapman, 36, joined the jury for the first season, after several appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race, where he had “immediately felt at home”. For the young judge, it was an exciting opportunity. “The drag is magic,” he said THR.
His tenure proved to be short-lived after fans strongly criticized the actor’s sharp criticisms of the contestants, as well as a perceived lack of knowledge about drag. A petition (fails) to have him dismissed as a judge has even circulated on social networks. The criticism quickly became personal and malicious.
A sample of the comments on the Canada’s Drag Race The official Instagram page sheds light on the abuse suffered by Bowyer-Chapman.
“When Jeffrey speaks, it makes me cringe”, “Jeffrey is the worst judge ever”, “Send Jeffrey, I can’t stand it”, “Jeffrey has to go! He’s ruining the series “,”[email protected]”and” Jeffrey is incredibly boring to watch. An actor who does not know how to play.
The backlash led Bowyer-Chapman to delete his Twitter account. RuPaul’s Drag Race United Kingdom Season one contestant Crystal tweeted her outrage. “Therefore the black queer judge on Canada’s Drag Race gets bullied on Twitter. You are going happy?”
Left Line Trolling Bowyer-Chapman Shaken
“The number of times I’ve been called stupid n-er in my inbox from white, gay men was shocking – precisely because we were in the middle of a the awakening of racial justice, ”Bowyer-Chapman said THR.
“I think with me getting all the hate, racism and harassment, and death threats – that brought to light the insanity of it. It really showed a many people how dark and how toxic the Drag race the trolls are over over the past two years and how unacceptable that is.
For Bowyer-Chapman, the hatred was particularly hurtful as much of it came from within the LGBTQ + community. “As homosexuals we unfortunately have used to experiencing hatred, vitriol and homophobia, ”he said. THR. “I guess I had never experienced it in my own community. This was the part that was the most heartbreaking.
How? ‘Or’ What Drag race Producers create reality
What fans didn’t realize was that his role as judge was in part a product of production, and not necessarily indicative of his own personal feelings.
Bowyer-Chapman said THR that the judges were fed comments through headphones and recorded negative feedback during post-production. “Same if we had nothing negative to say, we had to find something negative, ”he said.
The public reaction was swift and came as a shock to Bowyer-Chapman, who “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 it was a different group of producers.
Bowyer-Chapman’s experience shocked him. “I remember watch the first episode on the couch with my partner. And when the the credits rolled, just feeling that hollow in my stomach.
He announced his intention not to return for season two in March 2021.
Drag race Support for former students
Canada’s Drag Race Season one contestant Ilona Verley told the Star Observer, “At the time of filming, I grew up to hate JBC. He would have be so kind and gentle during the workroom visits and so hard during the main stage reviews. It was really hard to have a read on him so I gave trying and somehow stopped caring about his opinions (which weren’t even his).
“I’m not going to play the fool. We all knew they had earbuds, but to hear JBC explained to what extent these headphones are used really open my eyes to the understanding of the behind-the-scenes politics that he was experience; that got him out of the way he did to us and ultimately the public in the hands of publishers, ”Verley said.
Crystal tweeted her support saying, “This man needs his name cleared and a many of you owe him an apology.
Drag race The fan base can be cruel
Online bullying has become a common theme for candidates of the Drag race franchise.
Drag Race United Kingdom Sister Sister season 2 competitor, in an essay written by myself for The Guardian, said, “I have been tagged in many shocking tweets. Without going into too much detail, the one from a blank profile described in detail how they would like to see me die and what to do with my body. The toxic fandom has clearly made itself known and my sanity has hit rock bottom… and right now I’m not doing well.
Ilona Verley, told Star Watcher, “Being in the public eye really showed me how words can hurt and cause physical harm to people. After episode 4 I was physically sick in my stomach because of the messages I was receive, which then led to my suicide attempt because I was so fed up with feel that way. I can only imagine what JBC’s inbox looked like and how it really felt. People don’t take a step back and think about how their hate can have advanced effects on persons belonging to minorities who are already struggling with a lot of internalized wrestling, and that has to change.
Bowyer-Chapman is currently one of the stars of Doogie Kamealoha, MD. to Disney + and more recently appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race in season 13.
Canada’s Drag Race season two is scheduled to air on October 15 with the original jJudge Brooke Lynn Hytes, joined by new Judges Brad Goreski, Traci Melchor and Amanda Brugel.
If you feel upset while reading the story, you can contact support services.
For 24 hour crisis assistance and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For LGBTQI peer support across Australia, call QLife on 1800 184 527 or online chat.