RuPaul is the most awarded host in Emmy history (Image: Fox)
In a triumphant moment at the Emmys, RuPaul secured his 8th Emmy Award and the 5th for RuPaul’s Drag Race.
RuPaul utilised his acceptance speech to address concerning legislation impacting drag performers in the United States.
Record-Breaking Win and Acknowledgment of Drag Queens
On Monday night, RuPaul clinched another Emmy for Outstanding Host, marking his eighth consecutive win – the most ever for a host and the most Emmys won by a person of colour.
Additionally, RuPaul’s Drag Race received recognition with an Emmy for Reality Competition Program. Grateful for the acknowledgement, RuPaul expressed his appreciation.
“Listen, you guys are just pure lovely for honouring our show and recognising all of these queens. We have released into the wild hundreds of drag queens, and they’re beautiful. On behalf of all of them, we thank you.”
Defending Drag Queens Against Misguided Criticism
RuPaul did not shy away from addressing the misconceptions surrounding drag queens, particularly the misguided efforts by some politicians to portray them as a threat to young people.
Asserting the value of knowledge and diversity, RuPaul countered the narrative: “If a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her because knowledge is power, and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you. So listen to a drag queen! We love you! Thank you!”
Specifically Addressing Drag Story Hour and Its Impact
RuPaul’s remarks specifically targeted the Drag Story Hour project, where drag artists read books to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.
The initiative aims to foster a love of reading and promote “a world where kids can learn from LGBTQ+ stories and experiences to love themselves, celebrate the fabulous diversity in their communities, and stand up for what they believe in and each other.”
The project has sparked the ire of conservative politicians and “family groups” in the US, leading to several state laws and bills to bar drag queens from performing in public spaces, as well as in the view of children.
Other LGBTIQ+ Emmy Highlights
Legendary singer and performer Elton John, who did not attend the event, scored his first Emmy award for Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium in the Best Variety Special Live category. This gives him “EGOT” status, becoming only the 19th person to win an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony and a Grammy.
Actress Niecy Nash-Betts, who married singer Jessica Betts in 2020, dedicated her Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a limited series (Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story) to “every Black and Brown woman who has gone unheard, yet overpoliced…” She affirmed that “as an artist, my job is to speak truth to power and baby, I’m gonna do that till the day I die!”
Honouring GLAAD for Advocacy Work
The Emmys also honoured GLAAD, the LGBTQ media advocacy organisation, with the Television Academy’s 2023 Governors Award. It recognised GLAAD’s nearly four decades of work in securing fair, accurate, and diverse LGBTQ representation in the media and entertainment industries.
Accepting the award, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis emphasised the urgency of sharing more LGBTQ stories.
“What the world sees on TV directly influences how we treat each other and the decisions we make in our living rooms, schools, at work, and at the ballot box,” said Ellis.
She shared a personal sentiment, stating, “For us, this work is personal, for me, it’s about my wife and our kids,” before stating that, “The world urgently needs culture-changing stories about transgender people.”