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Jeff Goldblum’s Question About Islam On RuPaul’s Drag Race Leaves Viewers Divided

by : Emily Brown on : 25 Apr 2020 14:59
VH1/Netflix

Jeff Goldblum has sparked some serious debate after he appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race and raised a question about LGBTQ+ acceptance in Islam. 

The actor appeared as a guest judge on the reality show, which is currently in the midst of its twelfth season, where he commented on contestants’ performances during a ‘Stars and Stripes’-themed runway challenge in episode nine.

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During the challenge, Iranian-Canadian contestant Jackie Cox walked the runway in a red and white-striped kaftan and a starred hijab; a look that proves, she explained in a voiceover, that ‘you can be Middle-Eastern, you can be Muslim and you can still be American’.

When it came time for the judges to comment on the performances, Goldblum asked Cox whether she was religious, to which she responded: ‘I am not.’

Cox continued:

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To be honest, this outfit really represents the importance that visibility for people of religious minorities need to have in this country.

Goldblum then asked:

Is there something in this religion that is anti-homosexuality and anti-woman? Does that complicate the issue? I’m just raising it and thinking out loud and maybe being stupid.

Jeff GoldblumPA Images
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Cox admitted she had ‘misgivings about the way LGBT+ people are treated in the Middle East’, but defended her stance by saying: ‘At the same time, I am one.’

She added:

What is so important to me is that if you just happen to be different, then live that truth.

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Though Goldblum implied he wasn’t entirely clued-up about the issue, he has come under fire by some fans who think his decision to raise the topic of homophobia and sexism in Islam was uncalled for.

Viewers have taken to social media to debate the issue, with one person writing:

The WORST moment this week was Jeff Goldblum’s wildly unnecessary comment about homophobia and sexism in Islam.

So many queens have worn Christian imagery and not once were they questioned about sh*t like that. Jackie’s runway was powerful and she didn’t deserve that.

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Another commented:

that statement by jeff goldblum that islam as a religion is anti woman and anti lgbt was so incredibly uneducated and dangerous and hurtful.

A third wrote:

Jeff Goldblum felt the need to say ‘but isn’t Islam anti-gay and anti-woman’ to Jackie because she was wearing a stars-and-stripes hijab, as if America hasn’t been anti-gay and anti-woman from the outset, or killed and displaced millions of Muslims, including women and queers.

Other fans stuck up for Goldblum, drawing on the fact he said he was ‘thinking out loud’ and arguing he was simply enquiring about an issue he didn’t appear to be enlightened about.

One wrote:

How’s Jeff Goldblum getting backlash for asking Jackie about Islam’s stand on homosexuality? It’s a political episode, Jackie did a political statement based on something she knows personally, how better to ask?? And he doesn’t know, why not ask? #DragRace

Another responded:

Jeff Goldblum having valid questions about Islam =/= Islamophobia.

It wasn’t the smartest thing to bring up on national television when there wasn’t a set up for an actual discussion about it, but it was an earnest inquiry that wasn’t brought up with any malicious intent.

Neither Goldblum nor Cox appear to have directly responded to the debate at the time of writing, April 25, though it would be interesting to see whether Cox felt Goldblum’s inquiry was ‘unnecessary’ or valid.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, islam, Jeff Goldblum, LGBTQ+, Sexism