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Strictly Come Dancing viewers up in arms after latest episode opens with a dazzling drag routine

Emma Powys Maurice December 6, 2020
Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing paid homage to musical theatre with a dazzling drag routine (BBC)

BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing kicked off Musicals week with a dazzling drag dance routine, but it was all too much for some easily-offended viewers.

The primetime ballroom dancing show has been making tentative steps towards LGBT+ inclusivity, ruffling more than a few feathers as it does so.

That certainly seemed to be the case after Saturday’s episode, which saw professional dancers Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez and Johannes Radebe take to the floor in glittering drag as they performed a fabulous Priscilla Queen of the Desert-inspired routine.

The dazzling display quickly attracted a backlash online – and this is why we can’t have nice things.

“Used to be a family show. Will stop watching,” vowed one disgruntled viewer. “It is one thing to support equal rights and completely another to promote homosexuality etc. Very sad indeed.”

Strictly‘s gone weird tonight,” moaned another. “My grandchildren are completely confused,” an older viewer claimed, as another questioned: “Is this really necessary?”

One fan fiercely defended their right to hold offensive views. “It isn’t hate to speak truth,” they insisted. “I am ashamed by the objectifying mockery of womanhood in this routine.

“Women fought so hard to reclaim their bodies from the patriarchy, but it seems that it was all for nothing. It’s not progressive or inclusive to take womanhood away from women.”

Thankfully the vast majority of viewers seemed to enjoy the performance, hailing it as the “campest, glitziest opening ever”, and they batted away the ignorant criticism.

“Loved every part of Strictly tonight. There’s only something wrong if you make it that way,” chided one. “A great show and anybody showing or feeling any prejudices as I’ve read really needs a life check! The dancers were strong, fun, and entertaining. Loved it!”

Strictly Come Dancing has been slow to embrace diversity and was nudged into action after its ITV rival, Dancing on Ice, proudly announced its first same-sex pairing in the form of Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Matt Evers.

Strictly followed suit with its latest season, ignoring the 300 viewers who took the time to complain that it was “offensive” to see a same-sex couple dancing together.

Nicola Adams and Kayta Jones’ show-stopping debut performance went on to draw record ratings and the world kept on turning.

More: BBC, drag, Strictly Come Dancing

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