Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman not returning for Canada's Drag Race season 2
UPDATE: Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman has confirmed his departure from Canada's Drag Race on Instagram. "Went from being a TV Judge to a TV Doctor… my mamma is so proud," he wrote alongside a photo of himself posing with season 1 winner Priyanka and his fellow judge Brooke Lynn Hytes. He also thanked Disney+ and shared a hashtag for the streaming service's Doogie Kameāloha, M.D., a reboot of the beloved Doogie Howser series.
EARLIER: The Canada's Drag Race family is waving goodbye to a good Judy.
Actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman will not return to judge season 2 of the international RuPaul's Drag Race spin-off, according to the former UnREAL star's co-panelists Brooke Lynn Hytes and Stacey McKenzie — both of whom confirmed their participation in the upcoming season in a video shared by the show's official Instagram page.
"Unfortunately, our third will not be joining us this season. He's filming his new show. He's busy, he's booked, and he's getting paid, and, unfortunately, with scheduling, things just didn't work out for him to come back this season," Hytes — the season 11 runner-up who became the first Drag Race contestant to hold a fixed position on a franchise panel across Canada's Drag Race season 1 — said in the four-minute clip (below). "He'll be so missed."
McKenzie also promised that season 2 will be "major," while Hytes stressed that the pair had to keep details "top secret" but that "lots of fun surprises" are in store for fans.
Though Bowyer-Chapman has, in the past, made several appearances on various episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race's American version (including a notable guest-starring role on the All-Stars 3 "Bitchelor" satirical acting challenge), the 36-year-old Edmonton native received intense backlash for his critiques of contestants on Canada's Drag Race season 1 — enough that he deactivated his Twitter account in the middle of the season.
Many came to his defense, however, including RuPaul's Drag Race UK season 1 contestant Crystal, who felt the digital bullies' behavior was motivated by Bowyer-Chapman's race.
"The main arguments I've seen are accusations of 'inauthenticity,' (as if YOU know what's authentic for him), and bad critiques (but none of the other judges are getting that half as hard)," Crystal tweeted. "It's a pile on. And it's racist. And for what? Clout? Bet you would have loved a good old fashioned public stoning."
Shortly after her victory, Canada's Drag Race season 1 winner Priyanka also defended Bowyer-Chapman in her coronation interview with EW.
"The fans don't understand that they had to build trust with the judges. That's what happens. They saw these three new judges and were like, 'Oh, they don't know what they're talking about.' At this point, they just have to give the judges a chance," she said. "Jeffrey is the sweetest and was so invested in our growth and gave us great advice. Of course, you want to see the shady comments from the judges because that's what makes for good TV! It doesn't mean that he's a bad judge and an awful human being and should go kill himself. They have to be nicer to people and stop being so evil!"
Representatives for Bowyer-Chapman did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment on his decision not to return to Canada's Drag Race season 2.
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