World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have shared their support for including drag kings and trans performers in future seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Bailey and Barbato founded World of Wonder after a New York University graduate film program in the mid-’80s and launched a substantial empire creating fan favourite queer content. In an interview with Digital Spy, they spoke about their career as producers, the ever growing Drag Race world, and the inclusion of trans performers and drag kings in future seasons.
Bailey shared, “Our constant mantra is “Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent”, and that does not exclude anyone. I mean, obviously we can’t reveal future casts. So until then, all will be revealed.”
Barbato added, “And there’s been trans people on the show. It is “Charisma, Uniqueness Nerve and Talent”, so it would not be some headline-making news. For some people it would be, but yeah.”
Reflecting on their time producing and developing LGBTQ+ focused shows, Barbato expressed, “We’re not driven just by numbers or business. There’s something really special about being connected to our tribe, and being able to connect people. And so whether it’s DragCon or WOW Presents Plus, it’s an opportunity to make those connections stronger. It’s also, obviously, a business opportunity, but for us, there’s always been something else that’s been motivating this.”
Numerous drag artists and Drag Race fans have called for the inclusion of kings, bio queens, and trans performers into the show for years. Though the WoW co-founders offer hope for this in the future, there were no suggestions whether it will be on the American version or one of the multiple spin offs, which are continuously expanding with seven new international shows in development.
RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season 2 winner Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 previously stated during the Queerties Award ceremony, “It is my grown-up Christmas wish with this award that hopefully, we can review one day an episode with some more trans girls who are fucking amazing.”
Queer artist and Drag Race alumni Aja also called for a more inclusive casting list, “Denying trans woman of making their coins, showing their art in the name of capitalism and Emmys. Most of the queens on RPDR come from the legacy and inspiration of trans drag performers. That shouldn’t be erased. It should be celebrated. Drag has never just been a “guy dressed as a girl”. It’s always been so much more.”
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