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A new documentary series showcasing the lives of five teenage drag queens and their families is coming to Discovery+ this summer — and it’s already facing intense backlash from critics online.
The series’, “Generation Drag,” executive producer is modeling superstar Tyra Banks and is set to air six episodes in June. It follows the young aspiring drag performers as they prepare for “Dragutante,” a drag ball for queer teens in Denver, Colorado.
In a launch announcement last week, the production was described by network backers as a “heartfelt and joyous coming of age series” that “celebrates a group of amazingly talented teens who put their creativity, passion, and talent on center stage.”
But according to several commenters online, the show amounts to “grooming” and “child abuse” and ought never to be allowed to air.
“This is child abuse,” tweeted Washington Examiner opinion contributor Nicole Russell in response to a post of the show’s trailer as many others on the platform vowed to cancel their Discovery+ subscriptions in protest.
[embedded content] Generation Drag | Official Trailer | discovery+ www.youtube.com
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property followed up criticism with some concrete action by launching a petition demanding the show be canceled.
One supporter wrote “Say NO to grooming” on Twitter with a link to the petition, which as of Monday afternoon, had nearly 12,000 signatures.
But Howard Lee, President of TLC Streaming and Network Originals, feels much differently.
He touted the teenage drag stars’ commitments to “being true to themselves and recognizing the importance of living authentically” as an “inspiration.”
Tyra Banks, too, noted that she has nothing but “admiration and respect” for both the children and their supportive families.
“They are bravely navigating coming into their own in a world that can be very challenging and not always accepting. What is so beautiful is seeing their parents and siblings supporting them,” Banks said in a statement. “These teens’ laser-focused tenacity inspires my team and me and we are honored to share their stories.”
“I can’t wait for these popping personalities to show their fierceness to the world,” she added.
A summary page on Discovery+’s website offers further details on the upcoming series, which will be released in June in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
The series was also produced by Monkey, which is part of Universal International Studios, and in association with Bankable Productions and Cat Fight Productions.