The latest American season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has only just revved up and yet, already, it seems Season 12 might go down as Drag Race’s most controversial season yet, following the dramatic axing of one its contestants.
New York drag queen Sherry Pie (aka 27-year-old Joey Gugliemelli) has been disqualified from the current season for allegedly catfishing at least five young male actors over several years.
The male actors reportedly came forward to Buzzfeed News to tell their story ahead of Sherry Pie’s Season 12 debut.
Buzzfeed News writes:
“A contestant on this season of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ catfished them [the alleged victims] over several years via email, posing as a casting director who led them to submit embarrassing audition tapes of themselves saying and doing degrading things.”
According to Buzzfeed News, Gugliemelli posed as a female casting director called “Allison Mossie” – over several years, reportedly – and asked aspiring actors to submit embarrassing audition tapes of themselves.
Allegedly, one of the young actors was asked to masturbate on camera as part of a fake audition.
As these allegations hit the internet, World of Wonder, who produce RuPaul’s Drag Race, and VH1, who air the show in the US, were forced to step in and make an announcement about their controversial contestant.
World of Wonder stated yesterday:
“In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race…“……Out of respect for the hard work of the other queens, VH1 will air the season as planned. Sherry will not appear in the grand finale scheduled to be filmed later this spring.” – spokesperson for VH1 and World of Wonder.”
The timing is nuts.
The statement was released just hours before Sherry Pie made her debut on Season 12, making it a seriously uncomfortable watch for countless fans across the globe last night (especially considering fans are now speculating that Sherry Pie had actually made the top four).
From the looks of things, in addition to not appearing in the grand finale, the queen will be shunned (and wiped) from the official social media channels that promote the show (if last night’s posts are anything to go by).
From what I can see, a serious social cull is happening. She might be still visibly in the series, but as of yesterday, it seems production has cut ties with Sherry Pie entirely.
Prior to being disqualified from the competition, Gugliemelli released the following statement:
“This is Joey, I want to start by saying how sorry I am that I caused such trauma and pain and how horribly embarrassed and disgusted I am with myself. I know that the pain and hurt that I have caused will never go away and I know that what I did was wrong and truly cruel. Until being on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I never really understood how much my mental health and taking care of things meant. I learned on that show how important “loving yourself” is and I don’t think I have ever loved myself. I have been seeking help and receiving treatment since coming back to NYC. I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions. I also want to say how sorry I am to my sisters of season 12 and honestly the whole network and production company. All I can do is change the behavior and that starts with me and doing that work.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 episodes drop every Saturday on Netflix UK.
Images via World of Wonder, VH1 and Instagram
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at [email protected] Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow