CW: Sexual abuse
Tamron Hall is coming under fire following the announcement that she will interview Sherry Pie on her talk show this week.
Drag Race stars, fans and sexual abuse survivors condemned the decision to host Sherry Pie, real name Joey Gugliemelli, who was exposed for years of fraudulent activities and sexual misconduct.
Ben Shimkus was the first person to come forward with accusations against Sherry Pie, claiming he had been exploited by the performer in a series of catfish incidents.
After Shimkus came forward, other victims followed to tell their stories of how Gugliemelli used an alias and tricked them into performing sexual acts on camera for acting opportunities that never came to fruition. The community was shocked by these revelations, which Sherry Pie later admitted to. VH1 and World of Wonder Productions, who produce Drag Race disqualified the contestant from winning the show or attending the live finale.
While RuPaul producers handled the situation when it came to light many are now angered that Tamron Hall has decided to give Sherry Pie an interview.
The 50-year-old said in the clip: “On the next Tamron Hall, one of the breakout stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Sherry Pie, booted from the show after being hit with lewd accusations of catfishing men. For the first time, Sherry Pie comes clean. What really happened, next Tamron Hall.”
Drag Race alum Jackie Cox shared her disappointment with the announcement with a statement on Twitter:
“Being a performer and public persona is not a right, it is a privilege. Sherry relinquished this privilege by their actions. Giving Sherry a spotlight without the forethought to reach out to victims is irresponsible, immoral, & wrong. I stand with the victims of Sherry’s actions.”
I am publicly calling on @TamronHallShow to reconsider giving Sherry Pie access to the platform of national television to tell their side of the story without first speaking with the victims of her abuses and allowing them to weigh in on their own trauma. (1/4)
— Jackie Cox (@JackieCoxNYC) February 15, 2021
David Mack, who broke the story for Buzzfeed last year, wrote on Twitter: “I’m the reporter who first wrote about Sherry Pie. There are things here that suggest a worrying lack of research (accusations? she admitted the behaviour) but the biggest is one victim has already contacted me in distress as it appears there’s been no effort to hear from them.”
Ben Shimkus who was the first to come forward said in a statement that he was contacted for the show but refused to participate.
He wrote: “Just so we are all clear on this, I spoke with producers at @TamronHallShow and told them that I and the 20 victims that I spoke to today DO NOT want them to air a segment with Sherry Pie. They’re going to air it despite the all of our requests.”
Gugliemelli shared his first post on Instagram last night since the scandal happened to promote his appearance on the show
He wrote: “It’s been a long year of learning to own my many unpardonable mistakes. I’ll be sharing my story, reflecting on my shameful actions, and working towards making amends live on THE TAMRON HALL SHOW tomorrow, 10am EST @tamronhallshow”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised above you can contact the following:
1890 929 539
Call (116 123)
Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280
National Sexual Violence Helpline (for men and women):
1800 77 88 88
AnyMan (for men experiencing abuse):
01 554 3811
Male Advice Line (for men experiencing abuse):
1800 816 588
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