Newsflash, folks: until people can pay rent with exposure and buy food with exposure, nobody's going to work for exposure. Life isn't a gum commercial where people get bored by money.
Unfortunately, that seems to be news to Katy Perry -- or, at least, to her team. It sounds like she got bored of swiping Taylor Swift's talent and decided to get some drag queens to perform in her music video.
But apparently these drag queens were asked to do two days of work ... for free.
We'll be honest, folks -- we've been leery of Katy Perry's recent attempted re-branding from day one.
And that's not to say that we even dislike Katy. We could listen to her rank her exes at sex all day, you know?
(Not to mention, like, her music -- the girl has produced some bops)
It's seemed that, over the past several months, Katy Perry's had her gaze fixed sharply on the LGBT community.
You might remember that one of her earliest songs, "You're So Gay," was accused of being downright homophobic.
And "I Kissed A Girl" has been kind of controversial, as it seems less like an anthem for lesbian or bi girls and more like it caters to the male gaze.
(Though she's certainly grown a lot since then, and revealed some of her struggles along the way)
Her recent behavior and her statements have been acting like she wants to be fully embraced by LGBT culture and become a real icon.
(Though Katy Perry's gotten some LGBT backlash because controversy kind of follows her around)
So it is not surprising at all that she'd have asked drag queens to perform in a music video.
Drag queens are iconic within the LGBT community.
(Though they can sometimes be controversial, too)
But it is surprising to hear that Katy Perry, or anyone working for her, would think that drag queens (or anyone!) would want to do two days of work for free.
But that's exactly what a series of tweets by drag queen Vicky Vox allege happened.
"You know what f--k this ... there's a pop star begging drag queens to do a music video for two days with no pay, [their] own costumes and all."
It sounds like Vicky Vox had really struggled with whether or not to go public with this.
And so that we're clear, Vicky has done music video work before.
Do you remember Willam Belli's "Chow Down at Chick Fil A" music video (to the tune of "Hold On for One More Day" by Wilson Phillips)?
Vicky Vox was in that, along with Detox.
So Vicky knows how music video work is supposed to go.
"It wasn't until we all said NOPE... that they said maybe there might be some budget. But they'll get back to us tomorrow? No, f--k this."
No one should ever hire people with the expectation that some might work for free.
That's not how "hiring" works.
"You need to know today, you stressed that. Do you think we just like to prance around for sugarplum dreams? B---h, THIS IS F--KING WORK."
It absolutely is work. Hard work.
Drag performers supply their own outfits, makeup, and hair, and they can take hours to prepare.
"Drag queens should not have to beg you to value them. Not only is it insulting you asked them to value themselves as worthless..."
(Clearly she had more to say than could fit into a single tweet)
"You were going to USE them for your gain. Then say maybe when they say their time is valuable ... you say maybe ... NO!"
Yeah ... it sounds like Katy Perry may need a new team.
Maybe Taylor Swift has a good team that Katy Perry could poach?
(Sorry, that was unfair, but we couldn't resist)
Vicky has more to say, by the way:
Starting with a clarification that multiple drag queens got the same request to work for exposure.
"It wasn't just me that y'all decided [isn't] worthy of pay."
Vicky even refers to Katy Perry's infamous feud with Taylor Swift.
"F--k yo beef with a white b---h. You f--king wit queer bitches now."
There's a lot to be said about race and intersectionalism when it comes to drag queen culture, but ... that's a whole other topic.
Vicky does say that Katy Perry isn't necessarily the villain here.
"Yo, @katyperry .. just so it's clear. I had love for you. Your team f--ked up."
We'll get to that in a moment.
"This will probably bite me in the ass later but god did not promise that I would wake up tomorrow. I'm gonna live for today."
Vicky is probably right, because a lot of the time, speaking out can work against you in the future.
But you know what?
Speaking out -- calling out celebrities or even just their teams -- is sometimes the only way to hold them accountable.
The public eye can be a powerful thing.
We have to be honest -- we don't see Katy Perry as the mastermind behind this.
We don't see her micromanaging things like payroll.
Since apparently a few performers who have appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race may have been willing to work for free, someone on Katy's team may have thought that they all might be up for it.
And maybe some folks from RPDR would be willing to, because their fame from the show means a little more success in their careers.
But even in their case, we'd advise against working for free, you know?
If we were in Katy's shoes ... metaphorically speaking ... we would race to smooth this over.
Someone on her team needs, at the very least, a serious talking to.
You don't ask people to work for exposure, pretty much ever.
But you definitely don't cause a big controversy that goes against everything that your pop star employer is aiming to accomplish with your career.
There's just about no way that Katy was okay with this.
She's a performer herself, folks -- she has to know that nobody does it just for fun.