Drag Race UK royalty Divina de Campo thinks toxic fans need an urgent reality check

devina de campo interview pinknews

Drag Race UK royalty Divina de Campo ‘can’t get her head’ around online trolls who attack people for drama on TV shows.

The proud northern queen, who was runner-up in the first season of Drag Race UK, told PinkNews she doesn’t have the time nor the understanding for people who attack others over what she sees as entertainment.

Drag Race is the most high-pressured, the craziest situation that you will ever be in,” Divina explained. “Unless you’ve been and done it, you cannot understand what it is like to be in that situation – it’s bonkers.”

Divina’s statements come after three Drag Race stars received waves of online abuse because of the show. Glasgow queen Lawrence Chaney deleted her Twitter following “disgusting” abuse she received online because of an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Not too long after, A’Whora called out trolls for the abuse she received as a result of the show, with some bullies calling for her to “kill herself”. In a tweet, she said: “I can’t take your comments, I can handle the opinions I never asked for, but don’t be tagging me in your videos of you laughing at me crying and shouting vile things at the screen with me on it calling me from a pig to a dog and ending it on ‘now she should kill herself’.”

And in February, Sister Sister hit out at the “shocking and incredibly painful” online hate she was receiving from what she perceived as a “toxic fandom” who were ruining Drag Race for everyone else.

Now, Divina de Campo has weighed in on online bullying and has asked for people to give themselves a “reality check” before they believe everything that is aired on TV.

Divina shared how she worked as a teacher and would do a lesson with the year sevens (roughly those aged 11) about how to differentiate between reality and what happens on TV. She said that students would have to watch Britain’s Got Talent or X Factor and share how the shows were dramatised for TV purposes.

“Even as a year seven, looking at those shows, they would be able to tell it wasn’t about the contestants or about who is talented or not,” Divina de Campo told PinkNews. “It’s about the judges and entertainment.”

Divina explained that Drag Race “pushes that [line between TV and reality] right to the very edge of believability”. She said: “So I find it really difficult for me to get my head around that these people, who are on Twitter and who are just attacking people, can’t manage to see that this is entertainment – it’s not real life.”

She said fans should take the drama on Drag Race with a grain of salt as they would with any events on The Only Way is Essex or Made in Chelsea.

“[It is] very carefully set up situations, and none of it is genuinely real,” Divina said.

“It’s a narrative that’s created for TV, and that’s why we love it.”

Divina de Campo said people watching the show should “have a little reality check and remind themselves that it isn’t real”. She added that anyone “writing nasty stuff online” should remember that “employers look at that stuff, and it’s probably not a great plan” to put it in the public eye.

Divina shared with PinkNews how she teamed up with BT for a new campaign called Stand Out Skills, which looks to provide job seekers of all ages with free tips, resources and advice to help them stand out to employers in the job search.

She said her top tip is to think about an interview like going on stage for a drag performance, and that everyone “wants you to be good”. Divina de Campo said employers “aren’t there to say you’re rubbish”.

“They want somebody great, and they’ve asked you there just like an audience has bought their tickets to come and see you because they think that you can do this,” Divina said. “There’s nobody in that room hoping that you fail.”

Get free and unmissable support for every stage of your job search with BT Stand Out Skills, part of BT Skills For Tomorrow. For more tips and advice visit: BT.com/StandOutSkills or check out @BT_UK on Facebook and Instagram.