Drag Race star Utica issues sincere apology for ‘horrible’ fat-shaming jokes

Utica says she started doing drag in kindergarten and has auditioned for Drag Race once before.

Utica Queen has issued a public apology for her fat-shaming jokes on this weekend’s Drag Race.

The eliminated Drag Race queen apologised to Loni Love, Michelle Visage and Nina West for “bad taste” jokes about their bodies during her ill-fated comedy routine.

This weekend’s Drag Race episode, which aired on Saturday (27 March) in the UK, saw the queens compete in a “Nice Girls Roast” of previous contestants Nina West, Valentina and Heidi N Closet.

During the rehearsal, fans saw judges Michelle Visage and Loni Love discouraging Utica from some of her “offensive” material.

Utica hit back: “Does that trigger you? Does it? Whales, manatees… Does Dumbo ring a bell to you?”

She also asked Loni if she “speaks whale too”, which the guest judge called “harsh”.

Ultimately she ignored their advice, and in her set compared long-serving judge Ross Matthews to Pumba from The Lion King, said she thought Nina West “could speak whale” and called Loni Love’s comedy career “hard to swallow”.

The Minnesotan queen tweeted shortly after the episode aired: “I want to apologise my performance in this ep of [Drag Race].

“Especially to Loni Love, Michelle Visage, and Nina West, the jokes were in bad taste and my attempt at roast humor was for the lack of better words, horrible.. Making fun of people’s size is not okay. I’m truly sorry.”

She reiterated the apology on Instagram, calling the episode “uncomfortable” and promising to “keep learning”.

“I feel saddened that themes of body shaming are still prevalent in today’s TV, and I don’t want to perpetuate any body negativity with tasteless jokes,” she wrote. “Nothing was done with cruel intentions. Love each other and your bodies in every shape and size.”

After her overwhelmingly negative critiques from the judges, Utica said she was still “learning what is comedy and what is offensive”.

Utica’s apology has received a mixed response on Twitter

Responding to Utica’s apology on Twitter, a number of Drag Race stars urged her not to be so hard on herself.

Michelle Visage came to her defence, saying: “Utica, you do not need to apologize to me love, it didn’t offend me, the point was just this: if you were gonna go for it, it had to be funny! Honestly, don’t beat yourself up!”

Nina West added: “Babe! It is a roast, and we were all in on it and fully aware it was a roast. Give yourself a little grace.”

Fellow season 13 contestant Kandy Muse replied: “Girl, don’t beat yourself up over this. You didn’t say those jokes in mean spirit, you’re just not funny and that’s OK.”

Despite Utica’s co-stars coming to her aid, many viewers were not impressed. One fan accused her of “literally mocking plus-sized people everywhere”.

Another said: “Being mean and fatphobic isn’t funny.”

However, many highlighted the fact that other queens also made fat-shaming jokes, and weren’t called out for it.

One viewer tweeted: “To everyone coming for Utica, keep the same energy with Gottmik, Rosé, Kandy, and almost every other remaining queen for also making the same jokes.”