Drag Race UK slammed for ‘body shaming’ over Pit Crew casting ad
A recruitment ad for the Drag Race UK Pit Crew is attracting criticism for only accepting men who are “over 6ft, have no tattoos, and have an athletic and toned physique.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race is set to launch a long-awaited UK spin-off on BBC Three in 2019, with filming expected to gear up shortly for the drag reality series.
Drag Race UK Pit Crew casting ad: All men must have ‘athletic and toned physique’
Attempts to recreate the US show’s ‘Pit Crew’ of scantily-clad male models have attracted criticism for excluding all applicants who don’t have the perfect body.
A casting call, posted on the Talent Talks website on behalf of the BBC production, sought men who want to be involved in the show.
The ad states: “Talent Talks are exclusively working on a BBC Entertainment Show and looking for fit and attractive males aged 18-35 to take part in the show.
“You will be used as models for different parts of the show and must be confident in just your underwear.
“All applicants must be over 6ft have no tattoos and have an athletic and toned physique.”
The exclusion of shorter men without an “athletic and toned physique” has provoked controversy among Drag Race fans on Reddit.
Many noted the contrast between the blunt casting call and the show’s body-positive message for drag queens.
Drag Race UK ‘should have plus-sized pit crew’, say fans
One fan wrote: “Drag Race proving again that they support body positivity only in theory”
Another added: “They should have plus sized pit crew members. all bodies are beautiful y’all!!”
Several other Redditors called out the lack of “real body/look diversity in the pit crew” on the US show, while others questioned whether it was appropriate for the UK’s cultural climate.
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The BBC declined a request for comment on the backlash to the ad.
The US version of RuPaul’s Drag Race has featured a number of plus-size drag queens over the years, including fan favourites Latrice Royale, Eureka O’Hara and Ginger Minj.
The cast is yet to be announced for Drag Race UK, which is expected to land on screens towards the end of 2019. The judging line-up is also yet to be confirmed, but US judges RuPaul and Michelle Visage have both said they plan to be involved.
Some UK queens have expressed fears that Drag Race UK would “impose a specific type of American drag,” calling on the show to feature the full range of Britain’s diverse drag scene.