Melissa McCarthy points out glaringly obvious problem with drag bans with one simple word

Cropped head and chest image of Melissa McCarthy who has spoken up against Tennessee Drag ban. She is wearing a orange top with a pink cardigan on a white background with Sirius XM logo.

Melissa McCarthy has become the latest celebrity to voice anger Tennessee’s drag ban.

The award-winning actor, set to star as camp icon Ursula in The Little Mermaid later this year, posted a grid of characters in drag, with the quote: “You’ve been entertained by drag your whole life, don’t pretend it is a problem now.”

The characters includes Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as Daphne and Josephine, respectively, in Some Like It Hot, Monty Python’s John Cleese, Jamie Farr as Maxwell Klinger in the TV hit show M*A*S*H, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, and even cartoon icon Bugs Bunny.

McCarthy added the simple caption: “This.”

The post comes in response to right-wing governor Bill Lee signing Tennessee Senate Bill 3 into law on 2 March. It prohibits public drag and “adult cabaret performances”, which it defines as featuring “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to prurient interest”.

Outrage at this attack on LGBTQ+ rights has come from all corners, including drag queens, late-night TV host Stephen Colbert, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and actor Pedro Pascal.

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As the topic continues to divide people across the US, bigots have flooded McCarthy’s post with claims such as drag “sexualises children”. However, there has also been huge support for her stance.

RuPaul’s Drag Race legend BenDeLaCreme commented: “It’s been disheartening to see how few allies are bringing attention to what is happening. These drag bans are only the tip of the iceberg. A way to slowly desensitise the American public to increasingly dangerous anti-queer rhetoric.

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“I hope to continue to see celebrities and public figures speak up as more and more LGBTQ+ lives are endangered.”

Another commenter aimed their anger at those who have opposed Drag Queen Story Hour events. “There are so many people in the comments who have never seen a children’s drag story time and seem very concerned about the content,” they wrote.

“I have been to many with my children and there is nothing but love, music and beautiful performers who are, yes, in drag. There isn’t anyone showing anything inappropriate or sexual in any way. The only thing that was scary was the mass of violent protesters outside [who] harassed and yelled profanity at children.”

Tennessee has also introduced legislation that targets gender-affirming healthcare for young people.

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