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Queen Disqualified From ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ Before Season Airs

Season 12 of Rupaul’s Drag Race began airing on February 28. This season has been split up into two premiere episodes so that each queen has more air time, and therefore more time to connect with the audience. On March 6, before the second premiere aired, drag queen Sherry Pie was disqualified from the show and uninvited from the grand finale that will be filmed later this spring. Unfortunately for Sherry, she was in the second premiere and had yet to receive any air time. The official Rupaul’s Drag Race Twitter account tweeted as follows:



Sherry Pie is the second queen in ‘herstory’ to ever be disqualified from Rupaul’s Drag Race. Five men came forward claiming that they were friends with Sherry —​ they knew him from attending SUNY Cortland, and/or being a part of the same Nebraska theatre company. Joey Gugliemelli, Sherry’s real name, approached his friends on several occasions, claiming to have been in contact with a casting director for the prestigious Playwright Horizons in New York City. The casting director’s name was Allison Mossie, and Gugliemelli gave each of his friends her contact information. 

Ben Shimkus was the first to come forward on March 5 by sharing a post on Facebook about his experience with Allison Mossie. He explained that they emailed back and forth for weeks, communicating about the logistics of his acting career taking off in New York. The two discussed living situations, pay, and possible job opportunities. Mossie sent a script for an upcoming musical called Bulk, where Jeff, the character Shimkus would be auditioning for, begins taking steroids to put on muscle. Shimkus was told he’d wear body suits throughout the show to create the illusion that he was growing. Mossie requested Shimkus send in videos of himself reading the script, which required him to act out taking steroids and discussing the stench of his sweaty armpits. Shortly after Shimkus sent in the videos, his communication with Mossie came to an abrupt stop. He eventually called Playwright Horizons and was informed that no one by the name of Allison Mossie worked there. Another man, Josh Lillyman, said he had a very similar experience with Mossie regarding Bulk. Except, when filming his last video for Mossie, Gugliemelli stepped in and volunteered to help him shoot it. Lillyman claimed that Gugliemelli made him very uncomfortable, pressuring him to take off his shirt and pants to really “embody the role,” and eventually convincing him to masturbate on camera. 

Sherry Pie apologized on Facebook in writing the following statement:

“This is Joey, I want to start by saying how sorry I am that I caused such trauma and pain and how horribly embarrassed and disgusted I am with myself. I know that the pain and hurt that I have caused will never go away and I know that what I did was wrong and truly cruel. Until being on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I never really understood how much my mental health and taking care of things meant. I learned on that show how important ‘loving yourself’ is and I don’t think I have ever loved myself. I have been seeking help and receiving treatment since coming back to NYC. I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions. I also want to say how sorry I am to my sisters of season 12 and honestly the whole network and production company. All I can do is change the behavior and that starts with me and doing that work.”

Now we can only sit back and watch the show to see what happens. It’s not known how successful she was throughout the season or if she was in the running to be crowned. Many Drag Race fans and drag queens refuse to use her name and only refer to her by using the cherry and pie emojis. What we do know is that many people have lost respect for her, and we should expect to see the disclaimer that she’s been disqualified before every episode airs.  

Courtney Malalel is a smoothie enthusiast and sophomore at the University of Central Florida, studying to become a pediatric oncologist. When she isn't writing for HerCampus, she is painting, dancing or making runs to Universal to hop on Jurassic Park. You can also find her petting any cat in her general vicinity.
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