What Courtney Act Really Thinks About The RuPaul And Pearl Controversy

Throughout RuPaul's 61 years of life, he has earned a spot as a household name and one of the most iconic performers in the world, (via Billboard). The drag queen and musician exploded onto the scene with his hit song "Supermodel (You Better Work)" in 1993, but RuPaul was rubbing elbows with the rich and famous before the tune started blaring from every radio in America. He began cultivating his performance aesthetic and glamorous looks as a teenager when he lived with his sister in Atlanta before moving to New York City in the late 1980s to pursue a career as a go-go dancer, (via Britannica). His immense talent quickly garnered him tons of attention.

After years of rising to total stardom and becoming iconic in his own right, RuPaul brought his competitive drag series, "RuPaul's Drag Race," to television screens. Fans have watched for over a decade as new queens and returning all stars have competed for the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar" under the tutelage of RuPaul. Needless to say, the series has seen its fair share of drama. One former cast member, a drag queen named Pearl, has experienced that drama with none other than the host of the show, the widely adored RuPaul, (via Gay Times).

Things were tense on set

During the seventh season of "RuPaul's Drag Race," fans were introduced to Pearl. Pearl proved to be a contender for the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar" and ranked second overall at the end of the season, (via Famous Birthdays). However, Pearl had a famously rocky relationship with RuPaul throughout the show. The drag queen recently opened up about her experiences in an interview, recalling times when uncomfortable interactions happened between her and the show's host. "I turned to RuPaul and said, 'Oh my god, thank you so much. It's such an honor to be here, such a pleasure to meet you, you have no idea.' Just giving her everything I ever wanted to say to her," Pearl recalled of a time she couldn't help but gush over her former idol. RuPaul's response left much to be desired. The drag icon reportedly replied, "Nothing you say matters unless that camera is rolling," (via Gay Times).

Pearl isn't the only former "RuPaul's Drag Race" contestant to make claims about the host being less than supportive of the cast. "I've had conversations with multiple queens, off the record, just me and them, that went through the exact same thing," Pearl said. None of them faced quite as much flack as Pearl, though, who got a call from producers of the show to let her know that she will never be invited back for an "All Stars" season. "I was never dumb enough to think I would be invited back for 'All Stars,'" said Pearl in response.

Fellow queen Courtney Act reacts

While Pearl's relationship with RuPaul may not exactly be unique among fellow former "RuPaul's Drag Race" competitors, it's not uniform. Tons of queens who have competed on the reality television series still maintain a great deal of love and respect for RuPaul. Gay Times reached out to some of those queens for comments, and former cast member Courtney Act had some interesting things to say. 

"I've learned to separate 'RuPaul: The icon and the legend who's inspired me,' and 'RuPaul: The person who's at work.' I think the challenge is that on 'Drag Race' we're asked to bare our souls and give everything in front of the cameras, but Ru's not there for that purpose, he's just there doing his job," she said. "I prefer to think about all the wonderful opportunities 'Drag Race' has given me, and RuPaul has inspired me throughout my teen years and beyond, so I'm really glad for all of the wonderful parts."

It is true to say that Pearl has likely missed out on opportunities as a result of the interview in which she divulged details about her experience. In the performance arts profession, it can be easier to tolerate poor treatment than to speak out but Pearl chose to stick to her morals.