‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Star Accused Of Wearing Blackface

Matthew James Lent, a drag performer who shot to fame on Ru Paul’s Drag Race under the name “Pearl,” has been accused of wearing blackface in an image posted to Instagram this week.

Lent had extremely large inflated-looking lips, bleached-blonde hair, a pink tracksuit, and dark brown makeup on in the images.

TMZ reports, “Fans jumped on her almost immediately, calling the look tone-deaf and comparing it to blackface. One wrote, ‘So y’all just gonna stay silent while Pearl from RuPaul’s Drag race posts photos of themself in Blackface, all the while other non-Black queens were hyping it up like it wasn’t clearly blackface?’”

“The character i posted this morning was not meant to resemble any other background other than my own. she’s platinum blonde/blue eyes & meant to have 2000’s britney-esque tan,” Lent wrote Thursday on his Instagram Story.

“I certainly didn’t mean to hurt anyone and will refrain from using any kind of tan at all when creating characters in the future. i’ve removed the post as to not continue to offend people,” Lent continued.

In another post, Lent blamed the people who were upset for not understanding his vision.

“hello, not trying to drag this out but i’d like to address the drag character i posted this morning. it was not my intention to do blackface, i thought the concept of the character would be clear to anyone who saw it, which was ignorant on my part, for which i am sorry,” Lent wrote. “just to be clear, every aspect of the character was inspired by caucasian people, there was no black-influence going on in my mind during the time of conception. but now i see the people that inspired the character are/have been problematic, and by dressing up and parodying as them, i to am contributing to the issue in its own way, something i hadn’t thought of and don’t want to contribute to.”

Lent concluded, “with that being said, i’ve felt creatively stumped for a while and it may be due to the fact that some of these characters are kind of tired and just aren’t aging well, so i’m going to look at this as an opportunity to grow from the experience and expand myself creatively.”

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