Entertainment

RuPaul comes under fire for bipolar joke

Ella Braidwood June 11, 2018
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RuPaul's Drag Race season 10 recently ended.

Fan have hit-out at RuPaul, after she enraged viewers by joking about bipolar disorder.

The drag icon angered fans when she made light of the mental illness on the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, now in its tenth season, which aired on Thursday night (June 7).

In the episode, RuPaul introduced the drag queens’ main task for the week, a competition called the ‘Evil Twins’ maxi challenge.

She explained: “It’s time to split… personalities. I wanna see ‘Sybil’ disobedience. Double down. All aboard the Bipolar Express. Woo woo! Deuces!”

Viewers were quick to rebuke the drag star’s remarks on social media.

One said: “If you didn’t take issue with @RuPaul using references to bipolar and dissociative identity disorder to introduce the evil twin challenge, then maybe you should reconsider your relationship with mental health stigma!”

(JJS_III/Twitter)

Another wrote: “The problem w rupaul saying ‘bipolar express’ is that this casual use of bipolar as an adjective/joke will make others think that it’s okay for them to grossly misuse the word too, same as when miz cracker said it in meet the queens [sic].”

(kaatherrinne1/Twitter)

And one person said: “I’m a big fan of @RuPaulsDragRace. I also have bipolar. It not actually super funny. So maybe @RuPaul can toss bipolar jokes, and all other mental disability jokes, into the same dustbin as ‘shemail’.”

(johnbltz/Twitter)

Sufferers of bipolar disorder can experience major mood swings. They may go from feeling extremely happy to being very depressed.

The objective saw the five drag queens presenting their “good” and “bad” sides on the runway.

In the clip, which was posted on Twitter, RuPaul also appeared to joke about dissociative identity disorder by referencing Sybil, a 1976 miniseries, where the main character suffers from the mental health illness, starring Sally Field.

The latest episode of the show also caused a stir because of a shock elimination of one of this season’s favourite drag queens.

The episode saw Miz Cracker and Kameron Michaels ending up in the bottom, lip syncing to “Nasty Girl” by Vanity 6.

In the show, contestants also channelled their inner-saboteurs, a concept RuPaul has discussed throughout Drag Race when discussing overcoming self-doubt and finding confidence. Read the PinkNews round-up here. 

RuPaul has previously come under fire for controversial comments she’s made on her show.

In 2015, RuPaul’s Drag Race axed its catchphrase “you’ve got she-mail” after a row over transgender slurs.

The show was criticised in 2014 for a segment in which contestants were asked to guess from a photo whether someone was a ‘female or she-male’. The company behind the series, Logo TV, later pulled the segment from all future broadcasts.

Related topics: bipolar, Drag Race, mental health, rupaul, US

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