A Few Words with Lady Bunny about HHN (Hateful Hags Network)

Friday November 13, 2020

Bianca Del Rio & Lady Bunny on "Hateful Hag Network"
Bianca Del Rio & Lady Bunny on "Hateful Hag Network"  (Source:Project Publicity)

If you've had enough of CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, or (God forbid) OANN, then try HHN, the acronym for the "Hateful Hags Network." The show, which can be seen on Vimeo, is a weekly, hour-long running commentary co-hosted by the toxic (in a good way) team of Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio. Think "SNL's Weekend Update," but funnier and with plenty of raunch.

Long known as "frenemies," most notably when Lady Bunny called Bianca a "lezzer" last year on Twitter (and got canned by the social networking site, but was promptly reinstated). In reality, the pair have performed together numerous times and have been friends for years, largely because they share the same sensibility derived from years of performing on the New York City drag scene.

When asked about Lady Bunny in a recent interview on the website Pride, Bianca said: "I enjoy working with her just because it reminds me of my early days. Everybody was fun, everybody could take a joke, no one was sensitive like they are nowadays. So it's always a treat to work with Bunny."

Those who are sensitive, Lady Bunny advised in a press release for the show, had better steer clear of HHN. If you're overly PC, skip this show. If you're 'Drag Race' fans and love twisted comedy, HHN: Hateful Hags Network is the perfect show for you!"

Adding, "Enough with COVID and politics. It's time for something really important... back-stabbing drag queens!"

EDGE caught up with the iconic drag superstar — most renowned for creating the drag festival "Wigstock" in the 1990s — to talk about her latest collaboration.

EDGE: What prompted the Hateful Hag Network?

Lady Bunny: This has been a long and divisive election, so we figured that people who were sick of the news by now could use a few dishy giggles! It's an hour-long roast of "Drag Race" US, UK & Canada, along with "AJ & The Queen." And we're throwing more shade than a solar eclipse!

There's plenty to make fun of lately. I got tickled when Out Magazine ran a piece on Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman, a judge on "Canada's Drag Race," who fans thought was being too mean to contestants. Out Mag embedded a video montage of Chapman's remarks, and they weren't harsh at all. In the same montage, Brooke Lynn Hytes called one queen's look "garbage." That was much harsher than anything Chapman said.

It's odd to me that some 'Drag Race' fans love to go on about "tea" and "shade," yet many can't handle it when some tea and shade get served. Why would you watch a competition show with contestants and judges and get mad when the judge does their job? Would fans prefer dishonest judges, or judges with no opinions at all?

Bianca Del Rio and Lady Bunny

EDGE: You probably don't mind being called hateful, but do you take exception to being called 'hags?'

Lady Bunny: Have you seen us lately? As Bianca puts it: "Due to COVID, some 'Drag Race' queens have opened OnlyFans accounts. Bunny and I would never do that. Not because of any moral objections - because we're ugly!" I shot a Xmas video recently, and watched the rough cut. I looked rough, and asked him to remember to apply the beauty filter. He told me he already had! Oops!

EDGE: Why won't we see you on OnlyFans?

Lady Bunny: Because we have exclusive contracts with OnlyGrans.com.

EDGE: But can we find you on Grindr or Scruff?

Lady Bunny: I do better on Blindr.

EDGE: This is the first time you have appeared together since New Year's Eve. What can we expect?

Lady Bunny: Back-stabbing bitches who read both ourselves and nationally known queens to filth. Totally fake news with fake lashes and boobs. We all know that Bianca is the queen of stand-up and insult comedy. It was a thrill to work with her if only because she cracks me up! But since we're longer touring, we've sat around writing catty barbs jokes for 6 months. While we both prefer to perform for live audiences, like most queens, online is our only way of putting on a show right now

EDGE: What do you think of 'cancel' culture?

Lady Bunny: Let's cancel it. As Monet Xchange once said of me, "You can't cancel someone if they stay canceled." I understand that some people are more sensitive or easily outraged than others. But why not ignore "problematic" entertainers and focus on the ones you do like? People have different tastes, so I don't understand the need to shut down something which bugs you.

Here's a perfect, recent example. Many were upset by Chris Rock's AIDS joke on SNL this past weekend. But before the online outrage, a friend who has AIDS texted me to say that Chris was killing it on SNL. My friend and I grew up at a time when there was no prEp or even AIDS meds. Many of our friends dropped like flies. Dark humor was the only way we got through that pandemic without falling into complete despair. Now we're in another one! So I'm going to keep poking fun at what makes me laugh.

EDGE: Who would you like to see canceled?

Lady Bunny: All politicians who eat up half of our tax dollars on war at a time when no one is attacking us, and then turn around and tell us that we can't afford Medicare For All--in a global pandemic! The government shut down my job 9 months ago, and for everyone's safety, I'm happy to comply. But our paychecks have stopped and our bills have not. Something's gotta give! And we still spend half of our tax dollars on bombing people in other countries instead of helping the people at home? It makes no sense, but war makes some folks a lot of dollars. I'd like to see people out in the streets demanding more aid from their government before we start seeing more people evicted from their homes.

EDGE: Are you experiencing quarantine fatigue?

Lady Bunny: I think everyone is. My doctor told me to be safe, I should double mask it. I asked him why and he said "Because no one wants to see the top of your face, either!" Look, I'm not going to be able to work until clubs, cabarets and theaters reopen. That's going to be a long time from now. So while the masks and the handwashing are tiresome, I'm going to believe the scientist who recently said that a mask is as effective as a vaccine--until we get one.

EDGE: What do you miss the most during the shutdown?

Lady Bunny: Sex with strangers. To be safe, now I have to restrict all sexual relations with family members. (I'm from the South.)

EDGE: What advice would you give Melania Trump?

Lady Bunny: To ask for a recount on her prenup.

EDGE: Ellen?

Lady Bunny: Ellen was applauded as brave for her groundbreaking lesbian kiss, then endured a career-killing backlash, and then rebuilt her career. She came out as a lesbian. Why not come out now as a bitch? Everyone talks about strong women these days. Why can't Ellen just say: "You've liked my show for a decade, and now you find out that in some respects, my staff doesn't reflect my cheerful on-camera persona. Get over it!" Before Rosie O'Donnell came out, I never bought her image of a chirpy, straight Broadway fangirl with a crush on Tom Cruise. So perhaps we should be able to enjoy the act and not necessarily the person. Joan Rivers was a total Republican who said cruel things about Palestinians which weren't jokes, but I still loved her hilarious act!

EDGE: RuPaul?

Lady Bunny: I don't think Ru needs my advice. She's doing an Old Navy ad. I'm just eating old gravy.

EDGE: Who would you most want to interview?

Lady Bunny: Sherry Pie--to find out how she passed herself off as a woman!

For more on "Hateful Hag Network," visit Vimeo

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