RuPaul’s Drag Race editor speaks out on backlash to storylines

The Emmy-nominated editor behind the drag competition has set the record straight around accusations of manipulating footage.

RuPaul's Drag Race season 12

RuPaul’s Drag Race is adored by fans for its wig-snatching outfits, frequently hilarious challenges and of course, the shade of it all – an element of the show which has seen viewers accuse editors of manipulating footage to give certain cast members the ‘villain edit’ in the past.

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However, Jamie Martin, who was nominated for an Emmy this year for her editing work on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has spoken out about the criticism from fans about particular storylines from past seasons.

“On our show specifically, we really try to maintain the integrity of the queens’ stories,” she told Refinery29. “We’re not actively trying to manipulate. I think that’s the thing that people online think we’re doing.

“We’re not manipulating what was said, it just might happen in a different amount of time because we can’t show eight hours of footage. It’s not that we’re trying to put someone under the bus. Everyone on this team deeply cares for all of the queens and we want to have their stories told, how they were told.”

She added that this editor-facing blame can come about as there are other reality shows out there that don’t have the same editing integrity as she and her team.

“Sometimes when I watch shows that I don’t feel are as well-produced as our show, it feels not as real, not as truthful,” she said. “But I can see the production side of it more than the editing because we get what we get, what we got on set. But I feel like sometimes, some other shows have not been able to highlight their casts’ true personalities.”

In previous years, a number of Drag Race contestants have hit out at the show’s editing techniques for portraying them in a contrived way.

In 2016, season four and All Stars 2’s Phi Phi O’Hara, real name Jaremi Carey, told Vulture he felt “let down” by the show’s editing of his scenes.

“It’s really upsetting because I put so much faith in this show [that] it was going to keep it’s word on this redemption for Phi Phi, and they’ve just made me look like another backstabbing manipulative monster,” he said. “I wish Ru would step up to the plate and say something and they don’t.”

Fans have taken to Reddit to highlight other examples of what they consider ‘shady’ editing, with some viewers criticising the depiction of Alexis Mateo and India Ferrah’s feud over Ferrah’s accusation that Mateo had conspired against Shea Couleé during the latest season of All Stars.

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RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 is rumoured to begin filming soon, with Phi Phi O’Hara revealing on Twitter earlier this month that the contestants have been cast.

Check out our TV Guide for more to watch.