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RuPaul Has a Powerful Message on Why The Bigots and Hate Groups Are Going to Lose — IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

With eight Emmy nominations and record ratings, the host explains why "RuPauI's Drag Race" is the show we need right now to combat so much hate.

Rupaul 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert', New York, USA - 23 Jun 2016



This fall will mark 25 years since the release of “Supermodel (You Better Work),” RuPaul’s smash hit single that quickly made him a household name. The superstar hasn’t stopped working since then, and is now enjoying more success than ever with the Emmy-nominated “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” about to enter its tenth season.

Rupaul CharlesCreative Arts Emmy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Sep 2016

RuPaul at the 2016 Emmys


Following a move to VH1, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” just delivered its most viewed season ever. And the show and its companion series “Untucked” has been nominated for 8 Emmys, including outstanding reality competition series and outstanding reality host for RuPaul, who won the category last year as well.

“My whole career, it’s never been about getting validation from the status quo,” the icon told IndieWire’s Turn It On podcast. Its been about ‘you do you.’ We’re filming our 10th season and it’s still as much as fun as it was the first day.” Listen below:

RuPaul describes “Drag Race” as “part variety show, part heart, theater, performance, music and life lessons… It’s interesting it would come around at this time, politically what’s happening in our country and around the world.”

Given what’s going on right now in Washington, RuPaul is using the power of his fame and series to serve as a counterbalance to those who would rather roll back all the progress for tolerance and acceptance we’ve seen in this country. While hate groups attempt to go mainstream, the power of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a reminder that its message and success is legit.

RuPaulGLAAD Media Awards - 12 March 1995March 12, 1995:Los Angeles, CA. RuPaul1995 GLAAD Media AwardsPhoto®Berliner Studio/BEImages

RuPaul in 1995


“Our show is the voice of the 21st century,” he said. “What’s happening politically in our country is people trying to hold on to the 20th century. The kids who watch our show are future forward thinkers.”

IndieWire’s Turn It On sat down with RuPaul to discuss his Emmy nominations, plus how he’s kept his career flourishing – and whether he’d ever run for public office. Also, stay tuned for details on “Queen,” the new show about RuPaul’s life in 1980s New York that J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is producing for Hulu.


Michael Schneider and RuPaul Charles


IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week.

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