HGTV’s “Battle of the Bling” host Todrick Hall has found himself to be a polarizing figure over the past few years. From being sued for rent payments while claiming he owned his home on “Celebrity Big Brother”, to allegations that he did not pay his backup dancers for certain videos.
Lately, Hall has been catching heat for participating in a new reality show, “The Real Friends of WeHo”. Many users took to social media to express their distaste for Hall’s casting and say they would not be watching. Fans of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” also moved to boycott the new MTV show, in part due to the cast choices and in part the fact that “Drag Race” episodes have been shortened from 90 minutes to 60 minutes to accommodate the “Real Friends” time slot. One fan even started a Change.org petition to get “The Real Friends of WeHo” canceled and give “Drag Race” its longer running time back, which has over 30,000 signatures at the time of publishing.
This week, Hall responded to the backlash he has been getting for “Real Friends” and addressed his other scandals in a handwritten statement that he uploaded to Instagram on January 20, 2023, ahead of the show’s premiere.
Read the nine-page letter below.
Todrick Hall Shares a Handwritten Statement on Instagram
Todrick Hall addressed his handwritten letter to “Friends, Family, and Fans”. He wrote to them about the then-upcoming “Real Friends of WeHo” premiere, which he called “bittersweet”, referring to the “influx of hate” he has received. Hall goes on to share his experience and address each of what he considers his three main controversies.
Hall first speaks to those who are petitioning to get “Real Friends of WeHo” canceled, writing “MTV would not ask RuPaul to cut his/her Emmy Award Winning hit on its 15th season to accommodate our little six episode show. These decisions are made months in advance and even after our six weeks are up, you won’t be getting 90 minute episodes. Let’s practice FAQ checking things before we start creating petitions against shows that are giving queer people on/off camera job opportunities.”
Hall then moved on to his unpaid rent lawsuit, adding, “I own my home. I would never lie to fans about that. It was a huge accomplishment that wouldn’t have been possible without YOUR support through the years. I was renting and purchasing simultaneously, but now she’s all mine. That’s all I can legally say.”
Finally, Hall addresses the accusations of not paying his backup dancers, saying “I love my dancers, I was a dancer only my entire career until 2010. I have never not paid a dancer I promised payment to… EVER! If a dancer has done gigs or videos without pay; it was discussed before they ever stepped foot into rehearsal.”
‘The Real Friends of WeHo’ Sees Ratings Dip for MTV
MTV’s ratings on Friday night, January 20 dipped heavily during “The Real Friends of WeHo” premiere. “Drag Race” brought in 578,000 viewers, landing sixth in the night’s ratings, while only 186,000 tuned into the “Real Friends” first episode. “Real Friends of WeHo” ended the night ranked 69th in the ratings.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked” (an aftershow) aired at 10 pm, after the “Real Friends” premiere, and saw a rise in the ratings, with a total of 214,000 tuning in. TV Deets reports that this is one of MTV’s lowest-viewed premieres in recent memory.