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Tamron Hall tries to tackle outrage over her interview with RuPaul's Drag Race predator Sherry Pie

  • The revelation Monday that Hall would interview "accused—and admitted—sexual predator and disqualified RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Sherry Pie, aka Joey Gugliemelli, on Tuesday morning, frankly, pissed a lot of people off," says Kevin Fallon. "Prominent journalists and commentators in the LGBT+ community, former Drag Race contestants, and even several of Gugliemelli’s victims spoke out against the show in the lead-up to the interview, angry that the daytime talk series would give an admitted predator the opportunity to tell his side of the story and, critics feared, rebrand himself when there are still victims working through their own trauma. Those who demanded that Gugliemelli be removed from the guest lineup worried that giving him a platform wouldn’t just be irresponsible, but triggering for sexual-abuse survivors." Fallon adds: "Not only did Hall interview Gugliemelli Tuesday morning on her show as planned, she centered the segment around the backlash and the sensitive conversations it brought up. The result was a rare episode of daytime television, one that addressed controversy from within the center of it, produced content while simultaneously defending it, became a state of the union about the responsibility of a TV journalist, saw a host emotionally justify her own legacy, and lead a nuanced conversation about the abuse, the LGBT community, and atonement. It was a lot. From the moment Hall walked out on stage, it was clear she had heard the backlash and that it, in some respects, frustrated her, particularly the insinuation that interviewing Gugliemelli was 'seen by some as giving away my platform.'" Hall said of the backlash, citing recent interviews with R. Kelly: “I’ve been a reporter for 30 years. It’s not giving away your platform. It’s called an interview. And people who do bad things are interviewed...We believe the men who have gone on record about Sherry Pie. We believe in being fair and we don’t give free passes. I don’t give free passes. Sherry Pie agreed to an interview. No conditions. We’ve offered no opportunity to promote a book, a podcast, anything that could be seen as profiting. This interview is what we say every day on this show: Let’s talk about it. And that’s what we’re going to do.” As Fallon notes, Hall did hold Gugliemelli’s feet to the fire, allowing him to apologize but "she would interrupt him anytime the conversation turned too much toward his own healing and not to the ways in which he recognizes how the trauma of what he did still impacts the victims and the LGBT+ community."

    TOPICS: Tamron Hall, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Tamron Hall Show, Sherry Pie, Daytime TV