‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ under fire for ‘bipolar joke’

Host RuPaul has been criticised by viewers for a comment they felt made light of the mental health condition

RuPaul’s Drag Race has come under fire after its host made a “joke” about bipolar disorder.

The long-running show sees RuPaul and a panel of judges put competing drag queens through a series of challenges until one is crowned the winner.

In the latest episode, contestants were asked to design their “evil twin” personas. Announcing the challenging, RuPaul said: “It’s time to split… personalities! I wanna see some civil disobedience. So double down – all aboard the bipolar express!”

Fans took to Twitter to express their feelings about the line. “If you didn’t take issue with @RuPaul using references to bipolar and dissociative identity disorder to introduce the evil twin challenge, then maybe you should reconsider your relationship with mental health stigma!” wrote one.

Another added: “I’m a big fan of @RuPaulsDragRace. I also have bipolar. It’s not actually super funny. So maybe @RuPaul can toss bipolar jokes, and all other mental disability jokes, into the same dustbin as ‘shemail’.”

“The problem w rupaul saying ‘bipolar express’ is that this casual use of bipolar as an adjective/joke will make others think that it’s okay for them to grossly misuse the word too, same as when miz cracker said it in meet the queens,” wrote another. “Also the fact that it was in conjunction with split personality jokes makes a rly unnecessary connection……”

RuPaul has not responded to criticisms for the comment. Earlier this year, he had to apologise for comments made about transgender drag artists after facing another backlash. In an interview, the LGBT icon had said he “probably [would] not” accept transgender artists on the show.