RuPaul’s Drag Race star Silky Nutmeg Ganache has called for show bosses to improve the show’s aftercare, asking: “Is it going to take a queen to kill herself?”
The drag artist has claimed contestants are “not offered a lot of support” from producers, as she told of the depression she fell into after receiving online abuse.
Silky, who appeared on the most recent series of the internationally popular US show, said in an interview with Gay Times: “We’re not offered a lot of support when it comes to the show, the only support we have is to not read the comments.”
She told of how she’d received death threats and a barrage of negative comments after she won the mini and main challenge in the Snatch Game episode of season 11, which sparked struggles with her mental health.
“I got so much hate that I went into a depression,” she said. “I got so many death threats saying that I was robbing Nina of her glory. That is what I received, and I speak out on it, and then the response is like, ‘You knew what you signed up for’.
“No I did not, I did not sign up for someone to threaten my life, I didn’t sign up for any of that.”
Calling for a producer intervention, Silky continued: “I feel like until the producers put their foot down and offer more assistance that this going to continue to happen. Yes we are winning Emmys and we’re doing great things for the LGBTQ community, but at the same time they need to put out a statement saying, ‘This is not acceptable, and if you keep acting in this manner we’re going to cancel the show’, because people do not deserve to be treated this way.
“What is it going to take? Is it going to take a queen to kill herself?” she added.
American star Silky spoke amid months of headlines relating to reality TV aftercare in the UK, with a parliamentary enquiry into the matter on-going, following the suicide of a participant on the Jeremy Kyle Show, a Jerry Springer-style reality programme, earlier this year.
Meanwhile, ITV Australia recently revealed it will bring RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under in 2020.
If you or someone you know needs help:
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
Headspace on 1800 650 890
Outside of Australia, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.