Logo TV, which airs the widely popular show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, is distancing itself from comments host RuPaul Charles made during a May 19 interview in which he defended the use of a term some find transphobic and offensive.
In the interview on the WTF With Marc Maron Podcast, Charles defended his use of words like “tranny,” directly responding to criticism he’s received in recent months — particularly after an episode of the show in which Charles and contestants used the term “she-male.”
“Does the word ‘tranny’ bother me? No. I love the word ‘tranny,’” Charles said in the interview.
“Don’t you dare tell me what I can do or what I can say” Charles said. “It’s just words. Yeah, words do hurt. ‘Words hurt me.’ You know what? Bitch, you need to get stronger. You really do. Because you know what? If you think, if you’re upset by something I said, you have bigger problems than you think. I’m telling you this.”
Logo TV distanced itself from Charles’ remarks through a spokesperson who told BuzzFeed, “These comments did not come from Logo. We are committed to supporting the entire LGBT community and will not feature any anti-trans rhetoric on our shows.”
Just last month, in response to backlash from the transgender community, Logo TV issued a statement committing to end the use of the term “she-male” — a month after Charles, the show, and the network came under fire for airing it in the March 17 episode. In a segment, contestants were shown close-up images of celebrities and were asked to identify them as “female or she-male.” Logo said it has pulled the episode and the term won’t appear on the show again.
In the new interview, Charles also said “fringe people” are responsible for the backlash, not the transgender community.
“That is what we’re dealing with,” Charles said. “It’s not the trans community, because most people who are trans have been through hell and high water and they know — they’ve looked behind the curtain at Oz and went, ‘Oh, this is all a fucking joke.’ But some people haven’t, and they’ve used their victimhood to create a situation: ‘No, you look at me. I want you to see me the way you’re supposed to see me.’ You know, if your idea of happiness has to do with someone else changing what they say, what they do, you are in for a fucking hard-ass road.”
GLAAD, an LGBT media advocacy group, previously expressed concern over the use of transphobic terms and said it worked with Logo TV to ensure it would commit to stop airing them. GLAAD representatives did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Charles’ remarks.