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The Hate for Drag Race Star Phi Phi O'Hara Needs to End

The Hate for 'Drag Race' Star Phi Phi O'Hara Needs to End

The Hate for 'Drag Race' Star Phi Phi O'Hara Needs to End

"Get a grip, get a life, and get over it."

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The RuPaul's Drag Race fandom is, once again, on the hunt for the head of Phi Phi O'Hara.

Since she's started on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2, people who already didn't like her—and who probably never intended to—watched her every move with a magnifying glass. As the show has progressed, these "fans" have become increasingly agitated with her to the point where people are making death threats and attacking everything about her, on the daily. And after receiving little to no support from Logo, World of Wonder, or Mama Ru herself, Phi Phi has since claimed that the show has, once again, edited her to be the hateful villain of this season. A simple, understandable claim.

But some people still don't seem to understand that.

When Phi Phi says editing is at fault, she's not suggesting that she didn't say what she said on camera (that's some ludicrous response that her haters came up with since people just like to twist things up on the Internet to fuel their opinions). Never once has Phi Phi (the queen) or Jaremi (the man behind the queen) said that they were pure and chaste and never said anything shady, and her claim that editing had a part in the public's opinion about her is a valid one, especially since there are some very clear explanations of what editing looks like on a reality TV show...

1) Editors choose what does and doesn't air

You saw Phi Phi going in on a certain queen, right? Well how do you know someone else wasn't chiming in as well? How do you know other queens weren't saying awful things about each other? No one, aside from the editors and queens themselves, knows exactly what happened behind the scenes. To mindlessly consume the narrative the show delivers is lazy and irresponsible because, at the end of the day, the show is not real life and is made with the purpose to entertain. No one likes a story without a villain, after all.

You might say, 'Well they wouldn't leave out anything important.' Yeah, because they definitely didn't leave out what Raven-Symoné said to Adore Delano in episode one, which she has since said played a huge role in why she decided to leave the competition. That's definitely not a big thing that they chose not to air.

2) Things on TV can (and do) air out of context

So you just saw Phi Phi doing a really mean confessional about one of the other queens. Do you know when exactly she said that or what the context was or what the interviewer in the confessional asked her? You could say a queen was rotted on episode one and they could use that same quote in episode five. You never really know when these queens say what they say. This is another important trick in editing, because it makes the drama feel fresh every episode.

3) Camera angles tell a story

Much like everything else so far, it's unlikely that you know exactly when queens made the faces or reactions that they did. In the GIF above, it's unclear if Alaska and Jujubee's reactions are actually meant for Tatianna because they're not in the same shot. Those reactions could have been from any part of the Snatch Game, but the editors want to make it clear to viewers that Tatianna was not doing well. What better way to show that than by having other queens reacting poorly to her?

Again, you just don't know. Only the editors and queens know what really went down and who made what face or reaction when they did.

The main point of all of this, though, is quite simple: there is no excuse to attack and threaten someone over a reality TV show. 

If you disagree with Phi Phi, that's fine. If you don't like Phi Phi, that's also fine. But just because you feel something nasty doesn't mean you have to share it with the world. At the end of the day, these queens are human beings, not characters who live solely for your amusement. Start living in the real world, and realize that this is just a TV show made by people who want to make money and could care less about the negative impact they have on the queens who pass on through. Business is business, after all.

It's not asking a lot for fairer, more balanced edits, or for any of the RPDR related social media accounts to defend Phi Phi against the harassment she's facing. It's clear, though, that some people are just very sick. How people could continue to push their opinions on someone who was vulnerable enough to admit that they broke down, is beyond me. But what isn't beyond me is this: all the unjust hate towards Phi Phi should stop, ASAP.

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Buffy Flores

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.