Tamron Hall has received additional backlash following an interview with drag queen Sherry Pie aka on Tuesday afternoon, February 16.
Drag Race stars, fans and sexual abuse survivors are outraged at the decision to host Sherry Pie, real name Joey Gugliemelli, who has admitted to years of fraudulent activities and sexual misconduct.
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.
Drag Race fans questioned Hall’s decision to platform Sherry Pie with many asking if the ABC show’s producers had reached out to the victims.
Shimkus said in a statement that he was contacted for the show but refused to participate.
During Tuesday’s show, Hall addressed the outrage at the interview saying:
“It’s not giving away your platform.
“It’s called an interview, and people who do bad things are interviewed. R Kelly comes to mind.
“That’s just one person I’m thinking who was recently interviewed on multiple platforms and shared all over social media.”
Bob The Drag Queen discussed the “attack” on Tamron Hall on Instagram Live.
“It didn’t seem like she was interested in giving Sherry a platform to absolve herself or blaming it on mental illness or her relationship with her parents.
“I thought that that was really impressive the way that she handled the interview.”
During his interview, Gugliemelli admitted to his wrongdoings and horrible behaviour” saying he is “prepared to take any responsibility” for his actions.
“I don’t know if more [victims] will come forward. I’m here to apologise, and I want to make that very clear,” he said.
“I understand now, in lieu of this year, how much pain I’ve caused. I just want to let the victims know, and everyone else know, that I am so sorry.”
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.”
Season 11 winner Yvie Oddly, who is a survivor of sexual abuse, said that trauma must be “adressed” as opposed to being ignored. “At least some of the victims should have been given the same platform,” she tweeted.
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.
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.”
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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