There are off-color jokes and comments you can get away with and those that are best left in the deepest recesses of your mind. On the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the lead queen let slip something that not everybody was okay with. Even some of her contestants seemed perplexed by her choice of words.
The Queens served the yin to their yang in this week's Evil Twins maxi challenge! /
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) June 8, 2018
Drag Race’s “bipolar express” theme pic.twitter.com/u36R39P2J3
— leah (@flvral) June 9, 2018
While explaining a challenge that would have contestants designing “evil twin” personas, RuPaul said, “All aboard the bipolar express!”
Twitter user Joseph John Sanchez III explained why it wasn’t a great choice of words:
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!
— Joseph John Sanchez III (@JJS_III) June 8, 2018
One Twitter user worried RuPaul’s casual comment could normalize its use:
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.
— kat 18 (@kaatherrinne1) June 8, 2018
There may have been a time when making mental health jokes would fly, but those days are long gone. And that’s not a bad thing.
Twitter user Kim Void, who appears to be leaving the RuPaul fanbase, explained:
Also fuck #DragRace tonight. Seriously, trying to do a good and evil thing and then calling it “bipolar” is not only fucking wrong but it's outright dangerous to how people are perceived with it. This is supposed to be my happy place show not this and it can go fuck itself.
— Kim Void (@aproclivity) June 8, 2018
While she may not have alienated her entire audience, it still struck a nerve with many:
oh i did not like that bipolar joke thank u rupaul #dragrace
— rach (@wannabeskank) June 8, 2018
Literally, just stick with the “evil twin” thing babe, no need to trivialise MH issues
— /ˈɛmə/ (@emmaalicejane) June 10, 2018
Another Twitter user recalled season nine, when a contestant took issue with an off-color joke:
tbh i was done with this episode of drag race as soon as rupaul said “all aboard the bipolar express”
did u not listen to the bald one from s9 when she said DONT JOKE ABOUT THAT
— Scout/Salmonella (@ATweetFromScout) June 9, 2018
There was another moment in the same episode where RuPaul asked her contestants to reveal something they hate most about themselves.
Grace (@multicolourtea) took issue with that, too:
Are we going to ignore that this episode was pretty irresponsible? Rupaul is nowehere near a mental health professional. You can’t just ask people to unwillingly reveal the things they hate most about themselves and then not provide any mental health support for them afterwards
— Grace☀️ (@multicolourtea) June 8, 2018