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Brooke Lynn Hytes acknowledges Canada’s Drag Race backlash and admits judging was a ‘huge learning curve’

Rajdeep Singh November 2, 2020
Stacey McKenzie, Brooke Lynn Hyes and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman

Stacey McKenzie, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman are the judges of Canada's Drag Race. (BBC)

Canada’s Drag Race judge Brooke Lynn Hytes has addressed the heaving criticism the show faced over its judging panel.

Brooke Lynn told ET Canada that fronting the spin-off was a “learning experience” as she had never judged on the show before.

“I think people forget that I had never been in this position that I was in before. Last time I was on Drag Race, I was a contestant, and all of a sudden, I’m the first queen ever to be made a judge,” she said.

The Canadian queen said that when she was a Drag Race contestant she escaped “a lot of negativity from the fandom”, but expected to have a “target on my back” when she sat on the other side of the judging table.

“Whenever you’re put in a position of authority over other people, automatically people are going to be like, well, what does she know? Like didn’t even blah, blah, blah…all of his stuff.”

The Canada’s Drag Race experience taught Brooke Lynn to have “thicker skin”, she added.

“It got really hard for a couple of weeks, but I got over it and I mean, the reality is this is what judges face on reality competition shows, especially something like Drag Race

“But I mean, I thought for season one of a show, I thought we did a really good job and I’m really excited to hopefully to dive back in for season two.”

Brooke Lynn also talked about the winner of the competition, Priyanka, saying: “There’s something about her, she has that star quality i think. She really is a loveable character and she brought us some really great drag!”

Canada’s Drag Race judges accused of ‘body shaming’.

Over the course of Canada’s Drag Race its judging panel were attacked for what fans described as “harsh” critiques, culminating in a row over some alleged “body shaming”.

Brooke Lynn Hytes and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman both commented on contestant Illona Verley’s bum after she performed on the runway.

Jeffery said: “I think that your mug is painted so gorgeously. However, when I see that booty and the little turnaround, a little full coverage foundation may have helped you out.”

Brooke Lynn also commented, saying: “She definitely should’ve put some makeup on that a*s.”

Brooke Lynn was quick to clarify that they had not intended to body shame Ilona, explaining that they were pointing out she had razor bumps from shaving.

She said in a Twitter video: “We have no problem with the size or shape of Ilona’s bum, she has a beautiful, beautiful body and it was not meant in that way at all. You also can’t cover up cellulite with foundation, so yeah.

“I’m sorry for the misunderstanding and I understand that you probably couldn’t see that on your TV, but that’s where our critique was coming from.”

It was the flashpoint of an ongoing backlash, mostly targeted at Bowyer-Champan. The constant attacks eventually led to the model-turned-judge leaving social media.

It prompted many people, including contestants on the show, to support him.

Priyanka tweeted at the time: “Stop being mean to the judges, to us queens and to each other. I know, it’s a TV show and we all have something to say. 

“But for a show that celebrates the LGBTQ2S+ community, we have to keep this home safe.”

More: backlash, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Canada's Drag Race, Drag Race

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