Rita Baga blackface

Rita Baga from Drag Race has apologised for doing blackface in a past performance

The show was allegedly ‘Glee themed’ and saw Rita play Amber Riley

Canada’s Drag Race finalist and soon to be competitor on Canada’s Drag Race Vs the World Rita Baga has issued an apology after a ‘Glee themed’ performance from her past which saw her do blackface as Amber Riley’s character Mercedes.

The performance has surfaced after fellow Canada’s Drag Race queens Icesis Couture and Kimora Amour discussed on a Twitter Space how Océane Aqua Black allegedly bought a bodysuit from Rita Baga in the Océane’s skintone.

The conversation happened on a Twitter Space ran by The Chop Bloque – and you can listen to the full conversation recorded on YouTube here.

‘You can’t just wear our skin and think we’re gonna be okay’

Kimora said on the Twitter Space: “This is someone I respect and this is not shade, not to bring down anyone, but apparently allegedly Océane said to all of us she [Rita] was performing a ‘Glee theme’ and she was Amber Riley.”

Icesis Couture then says: “What do you mean allegedly girl, Océane’s payment went to Rita?” Kimora then replies: “We have to say allegedly, Icesis, we have to say allegedly!”

Icesis retorts: “I don’t have to say anything, I’m famous.”

Another speaker on the Twitter Space then clarifies the story, saying: “I just want to clarify: Allegedly, Océane got the look from Ms Baga because sis had the garment because she was performing as Amber Riley? Is that what I heard?”

Kimora then says: “This isn’t about cancellation, she’s about to be on Canada’s Drag Race VS the World, she’s the host of Drag Race Belgium. I just need to know that this wasn’t done and that this isn’t something that’s just okay. You can’t just wear our skin and think we’re gonna be okay and put some braids on.”

Another speaker on the Space says: “Who has the pictures?” and Kimora says: “It’s somewhere – I don’t think it’s still on Facebook.”

‘I have made stupid and hurtful mistakes that I still regret deeply’

Rita Baga posted a lengthy apology on social media in response to the backlash following the blackface allegations made on the Twitter Space by her Canada’s Drag Race sisters.

Rita said: “Bonjour! I’ve seen a lot of things online recently about me and problematic things I’ve done in the past. I have made stupid and hurtful mistakes a long time ago that I still regret deeply. For those of you who did not know this before, I apologise again. I can’t undo what I did as a young, privileged and unaware white queen.

“In 2020 I have exposed myself, as you can see below [Rita attaches a previous statement she posted in 2020]. I still own and mean what I wrote back then. And I am still ashamed. I don’t know if writing this post is the right thing to do, but I want to be transparent and honest. I’ve been vocal about this numerous times and informed people about it, too.

“Seeing that people who called out these big mistakes have been criticised and bullied makes absolutely no sense to me. I respect my sisters and I will never endorse online bullying.

“I always try to be uplifting for my community. Caring, loving, supportive. Discuss important topics for our communities on mainstream platforms. Use my privileges to open doors. The bad actions I’ve done and regret were a long time ago and I will never repeat them – never.

“I am full of love. I don’t like drama at all and avoid confrontation in general. To be transparent, my anxiety level is currently at its highest. Again, I don’t know if writing this is what I should do. But I apologise again from the bottom of my heart for the harm caused.”

In the previous statement addressing racism and blackface from 2020, Rita Baga wrote: “We all do stupid things we are not proud of. When I started to do drag, I used a darker foundation in a show so I could portray a black character. Another time I wore a blonde braided wig thinking it wasn’t problematic because it was blonde. I was ashamed – I never want to hurt people, but I did.”

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Featured image credit: @ritabagaz

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