RuPaul Charles is already an LGBTQ icon, the most famous drag queen on the planet and executive producer of a global reality TV empire, but he can now add another crown to the list of honors he has received. With a record-breaking 11 Emmy wins, the latest of which occurred on Sunday, Sept. 19, RuPaul is now the most awarded Black Emmy winner in history.
CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez reported that RuPaul’s “latest award came for the 13th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which picked up the honor for best reality competition program.” According to the Los Angeles Times, the previous record holder for most Emmys by a person of color belonged to cinematographer Donald A. Morgan.
In an interview published at the LA Times ahead of the ceremony with SNL writer, performer and Emmy nominee Bowen Yang, the beloved host and executive producer said he welcomed the chance to make history and was appreciative of his journey to get to this point in his life.
“I have all the scars to show you from a career in show business,” he told Yang. “Actually, I climbed up on stage, the first time for money, in 1982 and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s been a long, hard road, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Joey Nolfi noted that six of RuPaul’s previous Emmy wins came for outstanding host for a reality or competition program, with the latest award handed out just last week in an untelevised ceremony. RuPaul has also won one Emmy as a producer on the docuseries RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked. His remaining six Emmys were all for “Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program” on the Drag Race series.
“RuPaul has won the latter category a record six consecutive times,” Nolfi reported.
In his history-making acceptance speech, RuPaul noted his appreciation for the fans and viewers who stuck by him over the years, as well as all the contestants who appeared on the series in the past.
“Thanks to all of our lovely children on our show, from around the world. They are so gracious to tell their stories of courage and how to navigate this difficult life — even more difficult today. This [Emmy] is for you,” RuPaul said. “For you kids out there watching, you have a tribe that is waiting for you. We are waiting for you, baby. Come home to Mama Ru!”
Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race won Outstanding Competition Program over a number of industry heavyweights, including Nailed It!, The Amazing Race, The Voice, and Top Chef.
According to Nolfi, “the 60-year-old drag legend is the face of one of the most successful reality franchises in the world, as RuPaul’s Drag Race boasts multiple international offshoots, including RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K., Canada’s Drag Race, Drag Race Down Under, Drag Race España, Drag Race Holland, Drag Race Thailand, Drag Race Philippines, Drag Race Italia, and Chile’s The Switch Drag Race.”