For anyone who’s been keeping up with RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10, the rivalry between Aquaria and The Vixen isn’t news. But things really heated up during the recent episode of Untucked on 5 April.
What went down?
Aquaria (a 21-year-old drag queen from Brooklyn) and The Vixen (a 26-year-old from Chicago) threw lots of shade at each other during the recent episode of Drag Race, titled Tap That App. It all started when Aquaria questioned The Vixen’s win on the runway theme of Very Best Drag the previous week.
The Vixen apparently borrowed the wig she wore on the runway from another queen. Aquaria took issue with this, claiming it was unfair because The Vixen didn’t bring that wig from home—so it couldn’t be her best drag.
The tension between the two queens reached its peak backstage during Untucked. While both The Vixen and Aquaria have attitudes that can rub people the wrong way, The Vixen brought up an important point—how black people are perceived versus their white counterparts.
A 2017 study found that people perceive black men as more threatening than white men.
‘[Researchers] conducted a series of experiments involving more than 950 online participants (all from the United States) in which people were shown a series of color photographs of white and black male faces of individuals who were all of equal height and weight. The participants were then asked to estimate the height, weight, strength and overall muscularity of the men pictured,’ American Psychological Association page of the study reads.
The results found were consistently biased.
‘Participants judged the black men to be larger, stronger and more muscular than the white men, even though they were actually the same size,’ said John Paul Wilson, PhD, of Montclair State University, who led the study.
‘Participants also believed that the black men were more capable of causing harm in a hypothetical altercation and, troublingly, that police would be more justified in using force to subdue them, even if the men were unarmed.’
This isn’t just the case with black men. Black women, too, are often perceived as more aggressive than white women.
When The Vixen pointed all this out backstage, Aquaria burst into tears.
‘This right here is exactly what it is,’ The Vixen said, pointing to a crying Aquaria. ‘You say something, I say something, you start crying. You have creative a narrative that I am an angry black woman who scared off the white girl.’
‘So when you get super defensive and tell me that I’m negative when I’m just responding to what you brought to me, that will always read to these as a race issue,’ she continued, motioning to the other black queens.
‘The Vixen actually has a very good point,’ said Monét X Change, another black queen. ‘She’s being smart about how the optics of her personality will be perceived. People are going to judge The Vixen because Aquaria is crying. They’re going to completely overlook the fact that Aquaria came at her first.’
Watch the full interaction below:
Fans on Twitter, regardless of if they support The Vixen or Aquaria, seemed to agree with The Vixen’s point:
So now that it’s aired: The Vixen is incredibly smart. She understands optics in an almost superhuman way. Drag Race absolutely, desperately needed someone like her.
— Kevin O’Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) April 6, 2018
The Vixen did NOT say Aquaria is racist, she said the fandom has a race problem and because of that she was going to be seen as a villain (she was right) #DragRace
— Duarda (@FoscariniDuda) April 6, 2018
You can’t act like what the vixen said wasn’t true… Just look at the Kennedy and Jasmine Masters #DragRace
— Leonardo De.Cap.A.Ho (@G3MINI13) April 6, 2018
— ✧ernie✧ (@gcldenstarr) April 6, 2018
THE VIXEN CALLING AQUARIA OUT FOR PLAYING THE WHITE VICTIM CARD IS EVERYTHING I NEEDED FROM UNTUCKED EJNDNDNDJD #DragRace
— david (@chokingdonut) April 6, 2018
— Grace☀🌏 (@multicolourtea) April 6, 2018
The Vixen can both be here “just to fight” AND be right about the optics of Aquaria making her look like an angry black woman. Point blank, Aquaria shouldn’t have come for Vixen’s wig if she wasn’t ready for Vixen to respond. Her crying was a plea for pity over drama she started
— Jus (@jusfucket) April 6, 2018
The Vixen BROUGHT THAT TEA about the narrative that black women are angry all the time and white girls will be innocent. That hurt my soul to hear, and it is a reality, but it needed to be said. #dragrace
— Ant (@mollica_anthony) April 6, 2018
— Dale Hamilton (@EvilNurseJoy) April 6, 2018
The Vixen calling out Aquaria for playing the poor white twink, and making The Vixen look like the angry black woman….oooh bitch. White gays are fuming LMFAOOOO
— Anthony (@_uyuyuiii) April 6, 2018
— Charles (@HorrorGeek9) April 6, 2018
I really respect The Vixen for shedding light on an important narrative that directly affects the way black/POC queens are treated by fans of the show, but I think making a conscious effort to be confrontational and “fight” is unprofessional & distracts from her actual talent
— Cherry Kills (@BitchItsCherry) April 6, 2018
— Casey Koutris (@CaseyKoutris) April 6, 2018
VIXEN BRINGING UP THE RACE NARRATIVE / HOW FANS ARE GONNA FRAME HER AS THE “ANGRY BLACK WOMAN”.. LIKE SHE RLY IS THE QUEEN WE NEED THIS SEASON pic.twitter.com/e8WDnVe3Fg
— aja🍃 (@ajanotaja) April 6, 2018
Yes, thank you The Vixen and Monique for being unafraid to bring up the racist undertow that permeates around the fan base and will inevitably flair up after this spat. #RuPaulDragRace #Untucked #DragRace
— Casey Koutris (@CaseyKoutris) April 6, 2018
Vixen is totally right. I can already see people on twitter saying “vixen is attacking aquaria” but quickly forgot that aquaria poked the bear. Y’all need to be real about shit #rupaulsdragrace #Untucked #dragrace
— ʜɪʟʟʏ (@HiltonPosts) April 6, 2018
“you saying something and me responding and then you crying is going to come across as the angry black woman bullying the poor little white girl to them” the vixen just called ALL your asses out and i fucking LIVE #DragRace
— vie ⛈ (@EVIEPHOBIA) April 6, 2018
However, not all Drag Race fans on Twitter necessarily agreed:
As an African American I AM VERY OFFENDED BY THE VIXEN. You came there sayin “I’m here to fight” and trying to say that you’re angry about being perceived as a ABW??? You did that not Aquaria! #RPDR #DragRace #rupaulsdragrace
— Keepin’ It Mean (@BulllyQueen) April 6, 2018
vixen: i just came here to fight!
also the vixen: aquaria is making me seem like the angry black bitch
— 💿 (@meanfaggot) April 7, 2018
Yo the Vixen grinds my gears like sis why are blaming Aquaria for your bad edit when you are acting like a bitch!?! WHO CARES if Aquaria is emotional.. sis you still look like a bully wtf. All hail the Phi Phi of season 10
— SATANS BOOTYCALL™ (@MXBM_Beauty) April 6, 2018