There are off-color jokes and comments you can get away with and those that are best left in the deepest recesses of your mind. On the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the lead queen let slip something that not everybody was okay with. Even some of her contestants seemed perplexed by her choice of words.
While explaining a challenge that would have contestants designing “evil twin” personas, RuPaul exclaimed “all aboard the bipolar express.” Maybe on its own “bipolar express” may not have elicited a major response, but Twitter user Joseph John Sanchez III explains perfectly why it wasn’t a great choice of word usage.
Others just weren’t appreciative of the use of the word “bipolar” at all, with one Twitter user claiming that RuPaul’s casual comment could normalize its use as an “adjective/joke.”
the problem w rupaul saying 'bipolar express' is that this casual use of bipolar as an adjective/joke will make others think that it's okay for them to grossly misuse the word too, same as when miz cracker said it in meet the queens.— kat 🤡 18 (@kaatherrinne1) June 8, 2018
There may have been a time when making mental health jokes would fly, but those days are long gone. And that’s not really a bad thing. Twitter user Kim Void, who appears to now be leaving the RuPaul fanbase, explains the issue with using such words and descriptors in normal conversation.
Also fuck #DragRace tonight. Seriously, trying to do a good and evil thing and then calling it "bipolar" is not only fucking wrong but it's outright dangerous to how people are perceived with it. This is supposed to be my happy place show not this and it can go fuck itself.— Kim Void (@aproclivity) June 8, 2018
While she may not have alienated her entire audience with “bipolar express,” it still struck a nerve with many.
Literally, just stick with the “evil twin” thing babe, no need to trivialise MH issues— /ˈɛmə/ (@emmaalicejane) June 10, 2018
Making matters worse, Twitter user Scout/Salmonella (@ATweetFromScout) recalls season nine, when a contestant took issue with use of bipolar disorder in another off-color joke.
tbh i was done with this episode of drag race as soon as rupaul said "all aboard the bipolar express"— Scout/Salmonella (@ATweetFromScout) June 9, 2018
did u not listen to the bald one from s9 when she said DONT JOKE ABOUT THAT
There was another pretty striking moment in the same episode where RuPaul asks her contestants to reveal something they hate most about themselves, and Grace (@multicolourtea) took great issue with it.
Are we going to ignore that this episode was pretty irresponsible? Rupaul is nowehere near a mental health professional. You can’t just ask people to unwillingly reveal the things they hate most about themselves and then not provide any mental health support for them afterwards— Grace☀️🍓 (@multicolourtea) June 8, 2018