Disney-owned ABC has cast its first drag queen in its hit show Dancing with the Stars.
The drag queen, called Shangela, is known from the show RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“I feel so honored to be the first drag entertainer to compete on the show. It’s about darn time!!!” Shangela said on Instagram. “Let’s go win this Crown… I mean, Mirrorball!
The cast for the show’s 31st season was announced at the end of last week on the network’s Good Morning America.
Shangela is actually a 40-year-old man from Paris, Texas, whose real name is Darius Jeremy Pierce, according to The Advocate.
A biography on Shangela’s website says the performer is one of the most notorious drag queens in the country:
As Shangela, she has performed on six of the seven continents and is recognized as the first contestant to compete on three separate seasons of the Emmy award-winning reality series “Rupaul’s Drag Race.” Shangela has also guest starred on network television series including “Glee,” “The Mentalist,” “X-Files,” “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and “Katy Keene” and has appeared in several feature films, including A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
In 2019, Shangela was recognized as part of the prestigious TIME 100 Next List and named one of “The Most Powerful Drag Queens in America” by New York Magazine.
The announcement of the drag queen’s participation in the show comes at a turbulent time in the American political-culture battle.
Disney+ has also acquired the rights to the show, making it more accessible to younger audiences.
American conservatives have become particularly critical of the push for drag queens to perform – especially in front of children.
Twitter account LibsOfTikTok has documented the trend.
“Drag queens twerk and perform provocatively in front of children at an all ages drag show in NY,” that account said in a post earlier this month, attaching a video of the event.
Drag queens twerk and perform provocatively in front of children at an all ages drag show in NY pic.twitter.com/ghhy0vHEcs
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) September 18, 2022
The account also recently highlighted a 3-year-old being held by a drag queen at a similar event.
“Family-friendly drag show” pic.twitter.com/ls63VpVS0l
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) July 7, 2022
In another incident in California, a drag queen apparently taught children how to make money by performing in drag.
“Look at all that money you just made!” Drag queen teaches a child to perform for cash tips at a “family-friendly” drag show in Palm Springs, CA pic.twitter.com/JThSO1fOeg
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 2, 2022
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