The BBC Decided To Censor One Of The Prince Andrew Jokes From ‘Drag Race Down Under’
Yet the joke about the queen, her Corgis, and a jar of peanut butter, was completely fine? Choices!
The BBC has edited the latest and increasingly controversial episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under to omit a joke about Prince Andrew, which they felt was in poor taste.
Say what you will about the Snatch Game on the most recent episode of Drag Race Down Under, but it’s certainly generated **discussion**.
Snatch Game, if you’re not aware, is a drag parody of game shows like Match Game and Blankety Blanks, and has become a highlight for each season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Queens choose a celebrity to impersonate, and the only way to “win” is to make RuPaul laugh.
Down Under‘s Snatch Game rolled out extremely early in season 2, and was generally regarded as pretty painful, with a lot of queens performing low energy or one note characters — we had a very bland Lizzo, an inconsistent Bindi Irwin, and a Catherine O’Hara as Moira Rose that didn’t get the accent or easy catch-phrases right.
The Snatch Game was also notable for a criticised impersonation of Lindy Chamberlain by Sydney queen Etcetera Etcetera, which left many people feeling extremely uncomfortable.
As RuPaul said, “we’re all going to hell for this”.
But as is often the case with Snatch Game, there were a couple of notable performances, including Kiwi queen Anita Wigl’it, whose depiction of Queen Elizabeth was both high absurdity and extremely witty. She ended up as the overall winner of not just the game, but the episode, which was very deserved (and not just because the competition was not robust).
In the episode, she riffs off an interaction with Etcetera’s Lindy Chamberlain, saying “I wish a dingo would have taken my baby, then I wouldn’t have anything to do with Prince Andrew any more.” However this was edited out for UK viewers by the BBC. Another joke about Prince Phillip (filmed before his death) was also edited out.
According to The Guardian, a spokesperson for the BBC confirmed the change but did not elaborate on exactly why the comment was deemed inappropriate for British ears: “The BBC occasionally makes edits to acquired programmes in accordance with UK audience expectations.”
💫 Snatch Game with @anitawiglit
— RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under (@dragracedu) May 11, 2021
It’s hard to work out what exactly the offence in question is, even just assuming the BBC was being super sensitive about depictions of their precious monarch. Anita Wigl’it made a couple of jokes about Prince Andrew all up, and his much-commented on friendship with deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein — but only one was cut.
“When somebody turns 100 I write them a letter — and when somebody turns 16 Prince Andrew writes them a text,” she riffed to RuPaul, which is really funny. She also made a lewd joke about Queen Elizabeth and her Corgis and a jar of peanut butter, which was spared. Or my favourite joke of the episode, when asked “the secret to a long life”, she answered “don’t piss me off and wear a seatbelt”, a great gag about the popular conspiracy that the Queen was behind the death of Princess Diana.
It’s an interesting continuation in the conversation around drag and offensive humour. A lot of people have pointed out that some of Anita’s gags are in similarly bad taste as Etcetera’s Lindy Chamberlain — however, her version of Queen Elizabeth II is so clearly absurd, camp, and outrageous, that any notion of offence is pretty quickly neutralised, and hard to take seriously. Plus, a literal queen can probably handle having a couple of off-colour gags aimed at her, in ways that a woman who is being mocked for being falsely imprisoned for murdering her own baby probably doesn’t deserve.
Drag Race Down Under is being released weekly on Stan.