Hot off her historic "RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars" win, Monét X Change brings her very own talk show to BUILD Series. The lovely host sat down to chat with "Pose" star Hailie Sahar and "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" season 5 winner, Shea Couleé.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Hey, y'all. It's your girl, Monét. And welcome back to "The X Change Rate," where we believe streaming Taylor Swift's new album should be government mandated.
Mm-hmm, with you. Hear ye, hear ye, all hail our newly crowned queen of "RuPaul's Drag Race." The infamous Shea Couleé is here.
And she is posing. She is voguing. She is living, honey. The gorgeous Hailie Sahar is in the house.
But first, let's get to the gig. Hit it!
I look stunning. I love this wig. Patti did this. Patti concocted this wig. And it's very-- it's giving me very, like, early 2000s. It's giving me valley Black girl, like, I'm, like, obsessed. Y'all see the little clippy clips? Aren't these so cute? Right? Who knew Patti could make nice things? I'm very thoroughly impressed.
I do want to address the elephant in the room. Y'all have come for me up and down the comments on Instagram and YouTube about Tory fucking whatever his name is. Yes, I know. His name is Lanez. I didn't know. I am not hip. I'm not cool anymore. I'm officially 30. And I am now at the age where I'm fucking up names of pop culture. And that is just what it is. And I know I'm not cool. It's cool. Whatever.
Another place that's not cool is New York City. New York City is in the sweltering heat. It is so hot, ball sweat hot, titty sweat hot. It's disgusting. And it's that time of year when, like, you got to turn over, and you're not trying to cuddle. Like, after we do to do, after we live our lives, like, don't put your arms around me. Don't get under the comforters. Bitch, you stay on your side of the bed. I'm staying on my side of the bed. And you should--
Honestly, don't even sleep over. Just go home. After you do the do and the fluids have erupted, mama, a kiss, go home. Like, that's it. We're done.
And not to mention I'm going through this thing in my apartment. I think I mentioned it on the show before. So let's flashback back a few months ago. Like, right when COVID started, my neighbor downstairs was apparently complaining to my super, saying that I have, like-- I'm making too much noise. Granted-- oh, yes, Patti found the letter. Thank you.
He was making-- he had complaints to my super that I'm making too much noise. OK, got it. We're all quarantined. I've been working out at home.
Then cut to a month ago, I was downtown, premiering my brand-new music video "March" on ABC. And I get a call from my super. And he is like, hey, do you have something that goes off in your apartment, giving a thump, thump, thump every hour on the hour? I'm like, no, there's nothing automated in my apartment. And I was like, that's not a thing.
So then I come home. Later that evening, I get a knock on the door.
I'm like, hello? It's the downstairs neighbor. And he is like, um, you are making too much noise in the apartment. There's something that goes off every hour. I'm like, sir, there's nothing automated in my building. I mean, there's nothing automated in my apartment that does that. He's like, yes, you do. I'm like, bitch, there's nothing that goes off in my apartment making the sound that you're imagining. That's not here. Maybe-- I don't know. I don't know where the sound was coming from, but the sounds are not coming from inside my house. That was that. Chapter closed.
Yesterday, I'm in my apartment, cleaning. And then I did not hear a knock. There was no-- no one knocked on my door. No bell ring, nothing. I opened the door to throw out trash. And a letter falls from the corner of my door.
And I present to y'all, Exhibit A-- shady downstairs neighbor has striked again. This is what he said. "The hard stomping all day, every day, late nights is disruptive. If you do not comply, I have no problem taking you to court. The process has already began. I hear everything you do. I know any room you are in. Do not reply to this message. I'm pissed off enough. Comply. It is my right."
Bitch! I have half a mind to write back-- to go on the back of this letter and be like, ha, ha, ha. I wish a nigga would. Fuck you. That's really what I want to say. And I've said this to a couple of friends. And they're like, Monét, that is not the tone that you want to take. So I'm going to stay with them for a few days before I respond.
But if you happen to watch this show, you might not know who you're fucking with. This is Monét X Change. And you live downstairs. Don't try it. And if you know who this person is, if you can identify this writing, the writing analysis people, let me know who it is. And I am going to have to make some moves. But that's beside the point.
We're going to talk about the news. And some really beautiful, beautiful, beautiful things are happening in the Black queer community and spaces. And I am really, really happy about it.
Number one, Barbados, Barbados wants LGBTQ+ couples to come live on the island for a year. Now, listen, when I saw this news story, I was like, oh, my god. Is this real? I was like, no way. There's no way that this is a thing.
But Barbados is a Caribbean island. And as we know, the Caribbean islands are not very welcoming of LGBTQ+ people, trans folks. They have a very long history of it being very shady for us. But they're changing the tide. So in an attempt to kick start tourism back in the country, Barbados announced that it will allow foreigners to live and work remotely on its shores for 12 months.
And it went live on their website. And it was a little shady at first. So I guess, like, some shady intern, Jeremy, was editing the website. And he's probably homophobic as fuck. This is a little excerpt from what the app first said when it went live. It's said, "the relationship must subsist between a man and a woman who are legally married or not married to each other and have cohabitated continuously for a period of five-plus years."
So obviously, we know that to be legally married in Barbados, same-sex marriages are not legal there. So you know that same-sex couples could be legally married. So the language was very discriminatory at first.
But then the prime minister, Mia Mottley-- this is her picture. I'm obsessed with her. Within 24 hours, she took it down and she readjusted the website. And she said, "Barbados welcomes all. There is an issue as to who Barbados will welcome and who it will not welcome. I want to say, as long as I am prime minister of this nation, we welcome all and everyone."
And I think that seeing how fast it was changed and adjusted, I think that the country is making the proper steps to welcome the LGBTQ+ community. And I think it's really, really beautiful.
As y'all know, my family is from Saint Lucia. And Saint Lucia is just like Barbados. Same sex marriage is illegal. In Barbados, you can go to jail for up to 16 years just for being identified as queer and gay. So I mean, they still have a lot of work to do. But this is definitely a step in the right direction.
And side note, in 2019, Barbados was number eight in the world on a list of 20 of most dangerous places to go. But recently, along with Grenada, Saint Lucia, and some other eastern Caribbean countries, the Diversity Equality Committee, they have announced plans to begin to challenge the anti-LGBTQ+ laws currently in place.
So this is all really, really good stuff. And I'm really proud of the Caribbean countries, girl. Work, work, work. Come on, Barbados. Saint Lucia, you follow suit.
Oh, by the way, I'm doing-- Saint Lucia is doing their first pride this year. It's a digital pride, obvi. And I'm speaking on it, which I'm really, really, really happy that they've invited me to be a part of it. So look out for that. I'll be posting stuff about it when we get more details.
Woo! Come on, West Indies! Ah.
Another unprecedented new dive into African pride is the now Pride Afrique. It is a three-day live event beginning August 14 through the 16. And it will be streamed in four different languages-- English, Arabic, French, and Portuguese. And it is basically a pan-African virtual pride event, where they will be celebrating queer stories. And this is unprecedented. Like, never in my life what I think I would see something like this in the West Indies and now in also Africa.
One of their leaders, his name is David Nnanna Ikpo. He's one of the leaders/organizers. He said, "the global media has been flooded with narratives of a completely homophobic and hopeless Africa. We are never in the news or in discussions until there is a Hollywood script of a dusty, poverty-stricken, hungry African, where queer men are only ever lynched. Queer women, children, professionals, healers, artists, parents are invisible and erased." And he said, "Pride Afrique was born not necessary to tackle with these destructive narratives but to reach the corners of the continent and world where these narratives are splitting the dignities of young queer children and dreamers."
Guys, this is major to have a continent that is historically really homophobic to now have just, like, a beautiful, three-day, live pride event. Like, this is so beautiful. And I'm getting a little emotional. This is so good. This is so, so, so lovely.
And I also want to say this. I want to reach out. If I can help in any way-- I don't if I can be, like, a Pride Afrique ambassador. I can share and post stuff. Please reach out. I've already DMed y'all, and I haven't heard nothing back. But I'm super-- I would love to lend my voice to help in whatever way I can to spread the message of Pride Afrique.
And yes, so it's going to be global. It's going to be fierce. And come on, Black folk. Yes, erase that homophobic ass shit. We ain't got time for that. It's 2020, girl. We ain't got time for that. So this is a beautiful, lovely, amen.
Let's shift gears a little bit to this Kanye West-- ooh, Patti's hot.
Oh, this feels so good. Hear that, guys? It's cold.
OK, shifting gears, girl, to this Kanye West stuff, this is so crazy. If you have had any internet access in the past week and a half, you know how crazy this Kanye West world of stuff is going on.
I want to just cover this story really quick and give you, like, a day-by-day breakdown because I find myself being really confused as to what the timeline is, what happened, who said what, who did what, really confusing. So we broke it down in a timeline for you guys, so we all can understand a little better.
Sunday, July 19, Kanye West at his campaign rally because he is running for president. And he-- this was the famous one, the one that we've seen all the pictures and videos from, where he announced, when he said that-- crazy shit-- that Harriet Tubman didn't really free the slaves. And then this is also what he said that Kim wanted to abort their daughter, North, which I'm sure-- which we all read the stuff. Kim was fucking gagging because she like, this is private family information.
Bitch, I was waiting for him to release a text message or a tweet saying that Paris was fake. We made it up. Because there have been so many speculations about that, and people have been, like, hypothesizing and theorizing about stuff. Would you imagine if he dropped that bomb? (WHISPERING) That would be fucking crazy.
Anyway, I digress. The next day, July 20, that's when he went into this crazy tweet storm, where he was calling Kris-- Kris Jong-un. He was saying that Kim was trying to divorce him. He was saying that the movie "Get Out" was about him and his life, which that means that Kim would have been that crazy girlfriend.
I could see Kim doing that. Uh-huh! Like, the bitch hiding the keys. She's like, where you going, Kanye?
Bitch, he started releasing images of-- like, screenshots of his text messages with Kim and Kris saying, like, are you going to come to get me, saying that saying that Kris and Kim were trying to 5150 him. If not sure with what that term means, it's a term that they use when they, like, sedate or put an adult in mental care to keep them contained.
It's like a whole bunch of crazy accusations. And I'm like, what is going on, girl? Like, what is going on, all while he's allegedly in Wyoming, filming a new video for his new album coming out, "Donda," which he said was going to come out Friday of that week.
So then on the 22nd, two days later, the 22nd of July, Kim finally responds. And she says this. "I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he's a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions. He's a brilliant but complicated person, who, on top of the pressure to be an artist and Black man, who experience a painful loss of his mother and has to deal with the pressures and isolation that is heightened by this bipolar disorder. To those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words. Sometimes it's not aligned with his intentions."
Girl, I think his words not aligning with intention, that is far gone. Kanye has said some really, really, really disparaging and really hurtful and grave statements about the Black community and Black people. I'm like, we're past the point of he didn't really mean it. Like, we're past that, mama. We're past, past, past, past, past. We're past that, you know?
And you know, Kim did not mention a divorce in the statement. But I could imagine that maybe she's tried to divorce him, girl. Who knows?
And then third, on the 23rd, Taylor Swift-- because y'all know all the drama with Taylor Sift and Kanye West. They have, like, years of drama at this point. Twaylor-- Twaylor? [LAUGHS] Taylor Swift announces that she's dropping her album at midnight that night, "folklore," the album that everyone is going off about because it's such a different direction for Taylor.
I have not listened yet even though I said in the opening of the thing. I have not listened yet in totality. I've heard some tracks. I haven't heard the whole thing from beginning to end. You know what I mean? Because I feel like that's how you get the real vibe of a album, when you sit back, you spark up. You've got the lights down low, and you listen to an album from beginning to end. That's when you really-- [SLURP, POP] take in the whole album. You know what I mean? So I haven't done that yet. But it's still fierce, what I've heard.
Which, by the way, also, on another shady tip, Twaylor-- why do y'all say Twaylor? You know, let's change it? Twaylor Sift, Twaylor Sift released merch. And guess how much the price of the merch was? 51.50.
Taylor Swift is so shifty. She really navigates her life like a scorned Black woman. You know what I mean? Just like that a really subtle, shady, like knife dig. 51.50, the price of the merch, that's so shady. Anyway, fans made the connection, obvi. And then she changed the price, everything back to 49 something, whatever. But that is so shady.
And then on Friday, Taylor Swift released her album. But Kanye West, the day he said he was going to release his, did not. And people were saying he was probably nervous that A, Taylor Swift would outsell him, and she would be victorious over him. But even though he didn't release his, I think she's the winner anyway because we all know why he didn't release it. You know what I mean?
Currently, this is ongoing. Kim allegedly-- not allegedly. There are pictures of it. She went to Wyoming because she was, like, sick and tired of not talking to Kanye and having a moment with him. But she went to Wyoming. He's been ignoring her. And she didn't want to be ignored anymore.
And there are pictures of her and Kanye talking in a car. And she's, like, sobbing. She's bawling. And there were no "Keeping Up with the Kardashian" cameras in sight, which I'm mad about. I'm like, y'all want to share everything else. Y'all have sucked us into all this other stuff. But this thing that we're all, like, bitch we want to know the full thing, now y'all don't want to show it? Mm-hmm. Kourtney was right about all y'all. Kourtney was right.
But yeah, we'll keep y'all updated on the story. It's very nutty. No shade. And I'm really interested to see what's going to happen next. Hmmm.
What is happening next in this country is that people don't know how to abide by the laws. And the Chainsmokers had to hold a concert in Southampton. And look at the pictures of this concert. Isn't this crazy? This happened a few days ago in Southampton, which, by the way, is one of the richest neighborhoods in New York City. Southampton and the Hamptons is where a lot of the rich Manhattaners and New York City people go, and they have their summer houses, and they live their lives.
But they had this event, allegedly-- not allegedly, the event was to raise money for charity, which they did because tickets were ranging from $1,250, $1,250 to $25,000 per ticket. But there is no social distancing here.
And I mean, I did a drive-in drag show, where it was a social distanced drag show. You were able to park in your slot. And you could, like, take out a chair and put it in front of your car or sit on top of your car and be outside that way. But people still had masks on. But this is-- I mean, there is-- people are just-- people all packed next to each other like you would at any other concert. Like, this is crazy, crazy, crazy.
I just don't understand between Fire Island, Southampton, and all these other places, why people cannot just socially distance. Every other country in the world has recuperated as much as they can from corona. And we are all in America sitting and looking and crazy as hell. Crazy.
Did you know that Florida has now passed New York for most coronavirus cases? Florida. I mean, I don't know the map. Y'all can check me on it. Like, let me know. But I'm pretty sure New York has way-- like, our population far exceeds-- in New York City alone, our population probably exceeds much of Florida. I would guess that. So the fact that they have passed us in cases is crazy. And we're on top of each other. You're in Florida. You don't have to be-- in this building alone, there's probably-- in my building alone, there's probably, like, over 2,000 people living here. You know what I mean? So mmm, mm, mm, mm. This is no bueno.
And you know Andrew Cuomo. Andrew Cuomo-- I'm kind of into it now. At first, I was like, I don't see what everybody's seeing. But, like, when a man has, like, authority, and he speaks so authoritative, and just being so direct, I'm like, ooh!
[SMACKS LIPS] Yes, Andrew Cuomo! Andrew Cuomo said this. "Videos from a concert held in Southampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations. I am appalled. The Department of Health will conduct an investigation. We have no tolerance for the illegal and reckless endangerment of public health."
That's right, Andrew Cuomo! Get these hos together. Gather them like a motherfucking ponytail. Thank you, boo.
And last thing I want to talk about is can Barack and Michelle get any fucking cuter? They are so, so cute. In my life, Patti, do you think I'll ever find a Barack? [LAUGHS]
Patti said-- [LAUGHS] They're so cute. Michelle Obama launched her podcast. And Barack was her first guest. And it was just so cute. It's called the "Michelle Obama Podcast." I mean, they could have dressed it up a little bit. They could have put a little more seasoning on the damn name. Really? Just the "Michelle Obama Podcast"? Anyway, Michelle, we'll talk about it when you come here on the show.
Yeah, but it's really cute. And the debut episode focused on-- it was called an intimate conversation about community, their upbringings, and their love and life after the White House, which I'm really intrigued about. Like, I want to know, like, is Michelle Obama taking Uber to the grocery store? Does Michelle shop at Trader Joe's or is she more of a Whole Foods gal? You know, I'm just really into-- does Barack start the dishwasher? Because I know he probably ain't washing the dishes. But does he the least press on and choose the cycle on the dishwasher? Like, I want to know stuff like that.
And yeah, she said this. "I've been having a great time. And we've had some interesting conversations because these are really crazy times."
So she has really great guests coming, like Kelly Dibble, Conan O'Brien, Craig Robinson, Michele Norris. It's going to-- I think it's going to be a really beautiful podcast. And honestly, anything the Obamas do, I've invested. I'm into it. And I want to know more about them because I want her--
I want Michelle to release a book, how to get and keep a man, like, something in that realm. I feel like Michelle could help me find my Barack. I feel like I need a Barack. Like--
- I think it's called go to an Ivy League school?
MONÉT X CHANGE: Go to what, an Ivy League school?
- Go to an Ivy League school.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Right. Right? Go to an Ivy-- that's all that Barack said. They at Princeton. They at Stanford. They at Harvard. Girl, I went to Westminster, girl. And they got no Baracks up at Westminster.
Anyway, that's the stories for today. I'll never-- [LAUGHS] have a man. So fuck this out there, child.
- You have me.
Ladies and gentlemen, TV star, activist, and I just found out, a dancer, please make some noise for the beautiful, the stunning, Hailie Sahar.
HAILIE SAHAR: [LAUGHS]
MONÉT X CHANGE: Hello, my dear.
HAILIE SAHAR: Hi, love. How are you?
MONÉT X CHANGE: Good, good, good. How are you?
HAILIE SAHAR: I'm doing pretty good. I've adjusted so far to, you know, the new norm. So I'm doing pretty good. I'm keeping good faith in everything.
MONÉT X CHANGE: I was chatting with Keke Palmer last week. I'm like, listen, for all of us, there need to be new SAG categories because we are now audio techs, lighting techs. We're everything. They need to up the ante because I want a nomination.
HAILIE SAHAR: I agree.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Have you been doing a lot of interviewing stuff through this new realm?
HAILIE SAHAR: I have. And you know, surprisingly, it's kind of normal now. And I actually feel like it's a little bit more convenient. A lot of meetings have been taken this way. So yeah, I've been doing a lot of this lately.
MONÉT X CHANGE: How do you feel about-- I really get triggered because everything is Zoom now. Every little thing, people want to do a Zoom meeting. I'm like, now I gotta wake up. I gotta brush my teeth. I gotta comb my hair. It's so exhausting.
HAILIE SAHAR: You know what. I was born for this. So if it's time to get the money and get things going, I'm down for it. So--
MONÉT X CHANGE: Amen.
HAILIE SAHAR: It's all good for me.
MONÉT X CHANGE: So let's go back a little bit. So I was researching. And I was like, I had no idea that you were a dancer for the Sparks.
HAILIE SAHAR: Yes. Yeah, that was my very first job.
MONÉT X CHANGE: How old were you?
HAILIE SAHAR: I was about-- let's see. Because I auditioned for it one time, and I did not get it. I think I was, like, 13 then. So I believe I was a SparKid when I was about 15, 14 or 15.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Work.
HAILIE SAHAR: But that was my first job ever.
MONÉT X CHANGE: In showbiz.
HAILIE SAHAR: My grandmother-- I'm sorry?
MONÉT X CHANGE: In showbiz, your first showbiz job ever?
HAILIE SAHAR: Yeah, that was my first showbiz job ever, performing at the Staples Center. And my grandmother used to take us to the Sparks games. And I would hold up these big posters that I had made because I was there to see the SparKids. I loved the Sparks, but I was a SparKid fan. And so I auditioned twice. And I finally got it.
MONÉT X CHANGE: You know, I auditioned for a few dance things in my early life. But I was always a fat kid. So it didn't work out for me.
HAILIE SAHAR: I was a little bit of a chubby kid too at one point.
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS] And also, I found this out. So I got-- in about 2014 it was, when "Leave It on the Floor" came on Netflix, I was like, this movie's everything. This is my lament. This is my lament. And I was like-- So you, I did not even know you were a part of "Leave It on the Floor." How was that?
HAILIE SAHAR: "Leave It on the Floor," it was fun. That was my first time doing film. And that was the thing that sparked-- it kind of like put that drive in me to say, you know what. I'm going to do this for life. I want this to be my career.
But that was an interesting situation. I come from ballroom. And so my father, Father Trey, at the time, he told me about "Leave It on the Floor." and I went out for the audition. And I actually got a callback for one of the main roles. And then I missed my second audition, so they actually put me into the script the same way that Ryan Murphy did with "Pose," which is kind of ironic.
But I met Kim Burse, who's now one of my best friends. She did the music on that show. And I mean, I'm sorry, on that movie. And it was a great experience for me.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Well, you see-- because you speak-- because people recognize your talent and your star-- like, oh, we're writing a role from Miss Thing, honey. We need you in our production.
HAILIE SAHAR: And I'm so honored.
MONÉT X CHANGE: But you grew up a preacher's kid. And so that's really interesting. So your dad and your family encouraged you to do-- because growing up a preacher kid, I imagine they're like, they want you to probably stay in church. And I have a lot of friends-- I grew up in church-- who, they don't ever do secular stuff like R&B or dancing like that because, you know, the church can kind of be a little shady about it. But your family was not.
HAILIE SAHAR: No, not necessarily. I really haven't spoken too much about that side of my family. My parents split when I was about one or two. And so my mother's side has been very supportive of me. Of course, I've had some pushback with other sides of my family. But everything is getting better now.
And yeah, I grew up-- my grandfather was the pastor of our church. And then later on, my dad became a pastor as well.
MONÉT X CHANGE: OK, cool, cool, cool.
HAILIE SAHAR: Yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: But your mom was like, you're gonna get in this audition. I want you to turn it out. And now, here you are, two seasons later on "Pose."
HAILIE SAHAR: My mother is like, look, if you're going to do it, do it the best or don't do it at all. And my mother is like, and if it doesn't make you happy, then don't do it anymore. So my mother's always been super supportive of anything that I've chosen to do, as long as it's something that's making me happy. She's the same way with my brothers as well.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Nice. And then, also, speaking from-- I have-- many people who come from a trans experience don't have that relationship with their mother. So people look at you and Angelica Ross.
I remember that clip from last year or two years ago with her and her mom, speaking about her transition. And you know, she was saying that, you know, it was rough. But her mom ultimately came around. And it was this beautiful moment that they had. And it's so great to see trans women having these beautiful relationships with their moms who are supportive of their transition.
HAILIE SAHAR: Yes, thank you. I definitely recognize that that is something that is not a norm in the community. And I look at that as a privilege. And so anytime I'm given an opportunity, whether it's through an Instagram post or anything where I can show that love between me and my mother, I try to do that to give hope to other people. That's all that I stand for is giving hope and enlightening other people. So thank you for saying that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Of course. And now going forward to "Pose," so I know that Ryan wrote the part for you. So did you go to audition, or you didn't get a role, and then he was like, I'm going to write something else? Or how did "Pose" happen for you?
HAILIE SAHAR: Yes, so at the time, the only breakdowns that I saw were Elektra's role and Blanca's role. And of course, there's a character description, you know, describing what they're looking for within the aesthetics and all of those things within the character. And so I auditioned originally for Elektra. But that was through video. So I sent a video in.
They liked the audition. But I think they wanted me to play a younger role. And so then they sent me Blanca's role. And I auditioned for that. And so then I flew out to New York. I auditioned for Ryan and all of the executives for "Pose."
And after the audition, it wasn't that I it went bad. It was actually really great. He just asked me, who are you? And tell me about yourself. And off of that conversation, I got a phone call later on from my agent saying that Ryan wants to create a role for you--
MONÉT X CHANGE: Gag!
HAILIE SAHAR: --something different that he feels from you. And so that's how that happened.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Wow, wow, wow.
HAILIE SAHAR: Yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: So-- I'm trying to put myself in your shoes. I'm sitting at home, on my college, watching "Judge Judy." I get a call from my agent. They're like, actually, you didn't get the role, but he's writing one for you.
HAILIE SAHAR: Well, see, she wasn't sitting on the couch. See, I was working. I'll always be working. I was actually working on a play with Bernie and Chelsea, who's now doing "The Little Mermaid." I was working on their play called "Charm." It was my first time in New York. And so I was working on that. And that's when I got the phone call. So yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Got it. Yeah, you're like, Monét, let's clear it up. I was not-- because that's me. That's my MO, sitting at home, eating, and watching "Judge Judy." You're like, I wasn't doing that. I was actually, working, work, work, work.
And you go forward to season 2, which I just finish watching on FX because-- well, not on FX. I waited until came on Netflix. And then I binged.
HAILIE SAHAR: OK.
MONÉT X CHANGE: And then to see how your character has grown from season 1, being a secondary character, to being a prominent lead role in season 2, can you talk about that journey of Lulu?
HAILIE SAHAR: Yeah. So in the beginning, I had many questions for Lulu because, again, she wasn't an original character. And so I don't think we had too much of the development of Lulu's character just so much. And I think that's why you saw as much as you saw of her in the first season because they were creating Lulu.
And so as time went on, I think my experience with Lulu, I have learned a deeper appreciation for my artistry, being able to dial back a little bit and not giving you all of myself at one time but give you the layers of Lulu and peeling that apart. It's been a tremendous amount of work for me as an artist. And so I appreciate the layers that Lulu has.
And it's been interesting getting to know her. She is very complex, and I like that about her. You don't get all of her storyline. You don't know everything that she stands for, which also keeps the audience intrigued in Lulu and wants to know more about Lulu. So I like that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah, 100%. And now going into-- because you guys are all greenlit, everything with season 3. Going into season 3, can you maybe give us a glimpse on where Lulu's path is going in season 3?
HAILIE SAHAR: I can't. I can't. I can't. I will say that expect to see more as you've seen. As the seasons have progressed, you've seen more of Lulu. I would just say that there's more of Lulu that you will be seeing.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Okai, okai, okai.
HAILIE SAHAR: Yeah, okai.
MONÉT X CHANGE: And then, also, you started your own ballroom house, right?
HAILIE SAHAR: I didn't start my own house. I've heard that in some interviews. I didn't start it.
So I was already in the House of Rodeo, which has also been incorrectly quoted. It's pronounced Rodeo, like Rodeo Drive.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Got it.
HAILIE SAHAR: I was in the House of Rodeo. And the father again, Father Trey, he asked me to be the mother after about a year of me being in the house. And I became the mother of Rodeo. And then I left from that house.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah, so obviously-- and so you're part of a house. And does that directly inform your choices in "Pose"? Because we want to do-- because we all know what "Pose" is, not just in front of the camera, but behind the camera. It is a heavily-- people who are involved in ballroom, trans experiences. So obviously, the roles are informed that way. But from your own personal experience in ballroom, how does that inform your characters on "Pose"?
HAILIE SAHAR: Yeah, so I mean, I've lived it. I've breathed it. And so for me, yes, I am an artist. I'm an actor as well. But I've actually lived experience of the ballroom life as well as Dominique. And so we come from ballroom. And so I know the ins and outs of it. I've been through a lot of the things you've seen in "Pose." I've done a lot of that. And so yeah, I'm saving some of that for my book that I'm writing. But--
MONÉT X CHANGE: Oh, you're writing a book?
HAILIE SAHAR: I'm sorry?
MONÉT X CHANGE: You're writing a book currently.
HAILIE SAHAR: Oh, yeah, oh, that's-- yes, so that's one of the things I've been doing in quarantine. I'm working on my book right now.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Oh, word. Now, this is an autobiography or fiction or--
HAILIE SAHAR: It's going to be an autobiography.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Oh about your life. Oh, I can't wait to read that. Girl, let me say something. Because again, I don't want to go back into it, but religion is such a big part of my life. And it's something a lot of queer people have struggled with. And so it will be interesting to see how you've tackled-- which, I am assuming is a big part of your life, and now you're just shining trans starring in the Hollywood sphere, so that will be really beautiful to read.
HAILIE SAHAR: Thank you. Yeah, no, I'm excited about it. I think sometimes I've felt that there's a misconception of me. Of course, you know, my stars is new. But I feel that there's been a misconception because I am more reserved. And I think people think that they know the things I've been through based off of the way I've carried myself. But I've been through a lot. And I've never really disclosed those things. So I am excited to get my book out when it's time for that to enlighten other people, to help other people.
And I feel more courageous. You know, for a long time, I was living a stealth life. And I'm learning how to be more visible now as a person of trans experience. For a long time, I was not open about that, and so this is all new ground for me. And I'm excited to get myself out there that way.
MONÉT X CHANGE: On that, now that you are entangled in the Hollywood glitz and glam, do you find yourself not-- well, before COVID. You know, we're all stuck inside. Did you find yourself not participating in the hoopla of it all because of your experience?
HAILIE SAHAR: What do you mean by that?
MONÉT X CHANGE: Like, going out to the parties and the clubs and the dipping and doing, as Wendy Williams would say. Do you find yourself-- because how you you said you are pretty reserved. So do you not participate in that stuff because of your experiences?
HAILIE SAHAR: I'm reserved in the sense of I'm here to do the work. I keep my personal life separate. I never want the two to mesh. I'm here to do a job. And I'm also an activist. And I want to make that very clear. And then my personal life is sacred. My family and my loved ones, that's sacred for me. And they get a different version of Hailie. And so, you know, as far as the parties and stuff, of course, I go to those things. I mingle. But my personal life never intertwines between the two. I hope that answers your question.
MONÉT X CHANGE: No, it does. It does. It does.
HAILIE SAHAR: OK. Yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: I'm right there. What are your thoughts on "Legendary"? 'Cause I grew up in New York City. And I used to sneak into the kinky functions and the balls, you know, when I was 12, 13, 14. And I remember going to these things. I'm like, this is cool now. But when I was going, I never thought that it would be mainstream on HBO, on FX, on Netflix. So what are your thoughts on things like "Legendary" and how ballroom is becoming mainstream?
HAILIE SAHAR: My thoughts on it are I'm extremely happy for any level of progression. My sister Leiomy and my brother Dashaun, they're on that show. And so I'm extremely excited about just the progression of everybody.
Ballroom, as we've known, has been such an influential piece of pop culture throughout history. So it's time for the true creators to come to the front. And so I'm happy with any level of progression. And I see "Legendary" as that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah. Are we going to get you as a guest judge on "Legendary?" Or not even a guest judge, but a main judge?
HAILIE SAHAR: Quite possibly. I don't know. I don't know.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Because I-- not to throw any shade. But when you have people like Chance the Rapper's brother and Nico Tortorella, I'm like, these people literally know nothing they're talking about. So it's nice to have people like you, people who actually have ballroom credentials, to be like, uh-uh, that shawam wasn't a wham. You know what I mean? Stuff like that. Oh, that's the energy I want.
HAILIE SAHAR: I feel what you're saying. I feel what you're saying.
MONÉT X CHANGE: So in quarantine, you're working on the book. Is there anything else you're working on that we can expect from you?
HAILIE SAHAR: Yeah, I have a few projects that I'm working on. Some I'm not able to speak about--
MONÉT X CHANGE: Got it.
HAILIE SAHAR: --due to contracts. But I have a few things that I'm working on right now. I'm still working on music. I was actually set to release my single right before COVID happened. And because of COVID, things kind of shifted. So we're a different approach now with my music. But I am working on quite a few projects right now.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Hailie, you're just so-- I feel like I'm speaking to, like, a stately, very-- I'm like-- I want to, like-- I'm just afraid to say this. I'm like, Hailie, this is fierce. I feel like I'm talking to a queen, like the Queen of England. This is Lovely.
HAILIE SAHAR: Oh, well, you're so sweet. Thank you.
MONÉT X CHANGE: You are. I love it. I look the painting behind you.
HAILIE SAHAR: Well, you know, we're all queens. Thank you for saying that. We're all queens.
You know, I just-- I'm going to keep saying this. You're gonna get tired of me saying this. I want everything that I stand for, the way that I carry myself, I want it to stand for Black excellence. And that is why I carry myself the way that I do. I want people to be inspired, to reach harder, and to know their worth. And so that's why my persona is the way that it is. And I appreciate you saying that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Of course. It's been a pleasure talking to you, my dear. And I can't wait to read the book.
HAILIE SAHAR: Oh, thank you. I can't wait to get it out.
MONÉT X CHANGE: When it's out, please come back on the show. Hopefully, we're in the studio by then. And let's, like, dive in. And let's have a kiki.
HAILIE SAHAR: I would love to do that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: OK, thank you so much, Hailie.
HAILIE SAHAR: Thank you, love.
MONÉT X CHANGE: And be fun. Stay safe out there in LA. And I'll talk to you soon.
HAILIE SAHAR: Thank you. Thank you.
MONÉT X CHANGE: [KISS]
HAILIE SAHAR: Bye. [KISS]
MONÉT X CHANGE: Bye, my dear.
[SIGHS] Guys, "All Stars" 5 for "Exposé" has truly with equal parts fierce and fucking annoying. But I did it all for you. And though this is the last one, I want y'all to know I truly enjoyed each of every episode. Patti, I did not write that. I enjoy shit.
Look at this bang. This bang in so suspect. Why she got-- look at her.
Hey, y'all, what's good? What's popping? It's your girl, Noxeema Jackson.
No, guys. It's me, Monét. And welcome back to-- this is such an exciting day for me because it's the last time I have to do this shit. The final episode of "Exposé." I am sad. I am sad. I'm sad. I'm sad.
You guys cannot see my fierce little outfit. It's just really cute.
This has been a fun season, a short season. This season was only eight episodes. "All Stars" 4 was 10. We had so much drama, so much extra, so much bullshit, they had to stretch into 10 episodes.
But "All Stars" 5 was fierce, concise, to the point, and they did it in a day.
I'm wearing my Noxeema Jackson hair. She's been in a bag for about a year. So I have to-- [BLOWS]
If you are some uncultured gay or straight person, when [INAUDIBLE] won, a lot of people made the parallels that it was just like "To Wong Foo." When we were going to the finale, we were like, oh, we so fierce that we dressed up like "To Wong Foo." So here we are. And I-- look at these pictures. Yes, girls!
We toyed with the idea of asking Valentina to get dressed up as Chi-Chi so that she could have been Chi-Chi in the photoshoot. Maybe we can still do that. Maybe Valentina can still do it and we'll just, like, edit her in. It'll be still cute anyway.
So for the do, let's do this one more time. And let's start at the top.
I have to say, this is a very, very strong top three. Like, I could legit see any of these girls winning. I know I went on "The Pit Stop," which is why I didn't have an episode last week. But this is really what I envisioned. This makes sense. This looks right. And I thought this is what it was going to be.
Sidebar, do you realize that these are the first three people who walked into the workroom? I don't know if that's true. I don't even know if that's true.
We then see all of the eliminated girls walk into the workroom. And I'm like, oh, shit. Somebody about to get scandalized. All the girls were like, woo, your hair. Woo-hoo-hoo, party. Like what? uh-uh?
But no, alas, they're just going to have a kiki and powwow and talk about their feelings.
This is the show's way of giving us a reunion because they're not going to do an actual reunion this year. So this is like their slick, lazy way of doing a reunion. And I guess it's fine. We'll get a little drama out of it.
Derrick talked about his little drama with India. And we're like, boo, boring is not what we want to see.
Mariah called Mayhem out for eliminating herself to go home. And you and me, we're like, boo, uh-uh, we don't care. That's not what we want to see.
But Alexis brings up the India secret drama fantasy, and we're like, ding, ding, ding! You nailed it. this is what we pay for.
Mayhem confirms that India, in fact, twisted the truth and asked her afterwards. India was sitting there with a really smug look on her face, like, that's what I was saying the whole time. This vindicate Alexis. Alexis gets her justice. And India is sitting there, girl, with a big ole ostrich egg on her face, girl-- slime, gooped. Cut, print. Beautiful, guys. That was dynamite. And we're done with this shit. We're done.
Then we see the girls up in dance rehearsal. Sidebar-- I would like them to do something different now for the finale. This, like, production number thing, the dancing, run the lyrics, it's a little played out. It's a little tired now, mama.
Let's count-- "All Stars" 2, season 9, "All Stars" 3, season 10, "All Stars" 4, season 11, season 12, "All Stars" 5. We have seen this eight times now. Let's go back to the drawing board.
Oh, don't pull the wig. OK. Train up a child on the way she would go.
This dance rehearsal's going exactly as I predicted. From jump, we knew Shea is the best dancer out of the top three. Mama, we knew. Cracker is over there searching for the beat. Where is the beat? Jenkins! And Jujubee is still back in season 2 trying to learn the choreo for "Jealous of My Boogie."
(SINGING) Don't be jealous of our boogie. Don't be jealous of our boogie. You can say what you are not. But I always see you lookin'.
I cannot with Blair sitting on the sidelines, with no hope of coming into the finale. 1, 2, ka, ka, ka, ka, ka, ka, ka, ka, ka. What in the save the last dance?
And did y'all catch a little subtle shade Taja was throwing? He kept on saying, there's only one winner. I was like, off with his head. And now, we get to the production, which is clap back.
From the moment this season's cast was announced, we all knew who's season it was going to be. With a fierce look and even a fiercer charm, all hail our newly crowned queen, Shea Couleé.
SHEA COULEÉ: Hi!
MONÉT X CHANGE: Shea. Shea, Shea, Shea, Sh-shea, Shea, Shea. All over social media, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Grubhub, Uber Eats, I have been preaching the gospel of Shea Couleé because you are literally one of the fiercest queens ever. How are you doing, girl?
SHEA COULEÉ: Oh, my goodness. I'm doing so well. Thank you. It's just like-- it's been a couple of days so now, it's, like, finally starting to sink in, you know, that it really happened. I'm not sure how it was for you in your season winning "All Stars."
But just like, you know, you had this dream for so long. And you imagine it, like, over and over. You imagine the scenario. And then it happens. And it's just such a quick moment. And you're just all like, wait, wait, whoa, whoa, whoa. You're like, holy shit. That really happened.
MONÉT X CHANGE: To quote Shea Couleé, what, what, what, wh-what, what, what, what, what?
SHEA COULEÉ: Yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: So first of all, has Wow sent you the crown yet? 'Cause it took them a minute to get me my stuff.
SHEA COULEÉ: Yeah, no. I mean, it's just Tuesday, so I understand--
MONÉT X CHANGE: This is true.
SHEA COULEÉ: --that everybody is like, because of quarantine, probably working remotely. So I know they probably had to send some poor soul to the Wow offices to go and find the crown and scepter.
And I just keep thinking about who is the person that got assigned the job to go to the Wow offices, find that to mail it to Shea Couleé. Because that's four floors. There's a lot of offices.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Let's go back for a little bit. So season 9, the finale, I've always wanted to know this. Did you agree with the results? Or you were like, not, this is not-- this is rigged, uh-uh.
SHEA COULEÉ: Yeah, I agreed with the results. And that's also kind of like probably why it hurt so bad because I did get my ass whipped. Because here's the thing. Like, there was just so much going on just with the show in general, you know, because your first season is always really overwhelming. Your life changes. And then I also had just personal life changes that were happening.
So I felt like, you know, when the finale came around, I was just like a deer caught in the headlights in general because I was just kind of like so blindsided by the new format. But when it really boiled down to it, it was just like, I knew Sasha had won just by the visceral reaction that she had from the audience during that lip sync. And in that moment, I knew I had been defeated. And I was just like, to come that close, it was so excruciating, girl.
MONÉT X CHANGE: At least for me, in my season, I was really far away, so I hadn't heard about that. I was like, oh, this one's gonna get it.
Are you-- we all know that this story, how well you're doing. So yeah, it was crushing to not just you honestly, but to all of your supporters. A, I was a big Shea Couleé fan. Was, I'm saying like I hate you now. I was always a big Shea Couleé fan in season 9. And then I was one of those people. I was a home like, no! So you know, I get it. I get it. I get it.
Why didn't you do "All Stars" 4? Because I heard-- because you were supposed to do AS4, right?
SHEA COULEÉ: OK, here's-- the real tea is--
MONÉT X CHANGE: Whoop! Whoop!
SHEA COULEÉ: I was on the fence about 4 just because I knew and had personal relationships and friendships with so many of the girls going in there.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Right.
SHEA COULEÉ: And I just felt-- I just felt like, I don't know how these friendships could survive that competition. And it was, like, so many girls that I love, like you, Farrah, Trinity, Manila, Latrice, like, all girls that I have worked with and developed these really fond and strong with. Monique, so many. And I was just like, I don't know. I don't think that would be, like, cute for me. This is how I felt.
Because with all y'all on season 4, I was just all like, OK, well, season 5, I was just felt like, I don't think it'll be like that. And it wasn't. And that really wasn't the case because with the girls on season 5, I was really developing my relationships with them, like, when we went there.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah, I will say that. Like, watching it back-- and I'm not saying that AS4, we weren't close. But watching you guys through social media, and also, through the show, y'all really seemed like y'all really developed a tight bond for "All Stars."
SHEA COULEÉ: I did not expect it to go that way at all. And I felt like really just fortunate and blessed because I had a similar experience on season 9. So like, both of my times on "Drag Race," I was cast with girls that all clicked and had, like, a really nice, supportive bond.
And I didn't expect that because I went in there not really knowing anybody. And, like, in my mind, I said at first, I was just all like, OK, well, you know what. I just need to focus on myself. Like, I don't need to get caught up in any, like, show friendships because you never know how that can go. And I was just like, last time, I was just like, you know, I kind of like lost sight of the prize. And I was just like, not this time.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah.
SHEA COULEÉ: But I went in there. And everything changed because everyone was just, like, really cool.
And then, they told us that we had to, you know, like vote. And I was just all like, OK. Stop. I need to be friends with people. I need to make friends in this competition. So I as just all like, that plan's got to go out the window. That's got to go. I can't do that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Well, I think that's something that people, obviously, noted too is that you went in, and you're like, I'm playing a clean game, with the viewer-- me, as a viewer, but knowing you, I really respected. And so that's in with the whole-- when Alexis first tried to send you home, that threw you off a bit. And you were like, got it.
But then in this last episode, we see that they call her-- India out, saying that she-- well, she did twist with the truth. So is there anything else there that we don't know that you want to clear up? Like, are you still side eyeing Alexis a little bit, even though you know the truth now?
SHEA COULEÉ: Yeah, no, I'm not even side eyeing Alexis. Alexis and I, actually, we talk a lot. She's one of the girls I talk with most, besides Juju and Cracker. And what I did was I didn't get the whole truth.
And I was just all like, you know, I've come to understand, India was clever. She knew what she was doing. She left out the context, which is really important. She as just all like, yeah, and so she asked me. And you know, she really asked me about voting for you.
And so, for me, I assume that was, like, to influence her vote. Little did I know, she asked her after they had voted. You know?
MONÉT X CHANGE: Girl.
SHEA COULEÉ: You know-- so I also kind of felt bad because when she brought that information to me, I brought it to the group because I was just all like, I want-- in case there's anybody else who heard anything or whatever, I want everyone to know, like, with the [INAUDIBLE].
MONÉT X CHANGE: Shea, way to use it. I was like, Shea, Shea. OK.
You weren't like, I'm going to hold onto this and use it. You were like, two minutes ago, I heard this thing. And now we're plotting. So somebody speak up. I was like, damn. Work! I live. I live. I live. I lived. I lived.
SHEA COULEÉ: Look, I'm always for the tea, the whole tea, and nothing but the tea. I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I'm wanted to get to the bottom of it.
MONÉT X CHANGE: And now, Shea, we cannot talk about AS5 without speaking of your looks. They-- it is a worldwide consensus. "Vogue" has putting the stamp of approval that you came through with immaculate looks. Can you talk to us about the conception of them? Like, was this like you had your team, and you were like, these are the categories. What are we going to do? Like, how was that process of curating your looks for the show?
SHEA COULEÉ: It really-- gosh, I just love the process of putting together looks for "RuPaul's Drag Race," just like curating them. Every part about it is just so much fun. And I feel like ultimately, for me, at the end of the day, is I am a storyteller. I feel like we all, as artists, are storytellers.
And so I just always was thinking about the story of the look, who this character was, who this woman or creature was, where were they. I have to create a whole world for each runway look. And once I, like, fantasize about the world that it exists in, then it just helps everything to kind of click and come together, from, like the nails to the accessories because like--
You know, I went to school for costume design. So I feel like the difference between that and fashion is we're always designing for characters. So we have to think about who they are, and why they're wearing it, and, like, what made them put it on. And so when it comes to looks for "Drag Race," that's how it always is. It's always kind of like this whole narrative that I'm trying to sell.
But it always kind of starts with an idea. And then it goes to a color palette. And then from the color palette, we choose the fabrics and the silhouette. And then from there on, we just kind of keep on putting things together until it gets to the place where I'm like, that's what I imagined.
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS] Her mind-- to quote the director, oh my god, her mind.
SHEA COULEÉ: [LAUGHS]
MONÉT X CHANGE: And I wondered this because I had moments that I thought I was going home. Was there a moment in "All Stars," you were like, I might not make this one? Or there was a point where you were like, I'm not gonna win?
SHEA COULEÉ: When I was in the bottom week 3 because I remember thinking to myself-- you know, because it is a voting system. There were girls that had been on seasons with each other. So they already had these friendships. And at that point, I was scared because I was just all like, I don't really know these girls well enough. Like, I don't think I've had enough time for them to want to save me over their friend that they've been on a season with before.
So I was, like, shook because I was just like, this is only week 3 now. And they don't me know me well enough to want to save my ass. They could really get rid of me. I was shaking in my boots.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah. Yeah, I feel that. Especially-- there were some loose ones there that they could just-- even though they-- you know, they could have use that moment to be like, let's chop her off at the knees, girl. I get it. I get it. I get it. Which they did try, but they failed.
SHEA COULEÉ: Right. Thank god. Thank god.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Shea, on the final episode, you described your drag as a "love letter to Black women." And I genuinely-- I'm not just saying this because you're here. It's one of the most beautiful and most poignant things I've ever heard someone at runway. Please talk to us about that. And break it down to the people who are watching that may not understand what that phrase means-- or words means. Oh god, sentence means. Jesus Christ. I'm, like, verklempt. I'm getting teary thinking about it. It's beautiful.
SHEA COULEÉ: It's just-- you know, I think about my mom, and then my grandma, and my aunties, and just like all of the women that have poured into my life. And not just them, but Black women as a whole have really been the cornerstone of American pop culture. There is so much that is co-opted, and borrowed, and taken from them, and watered down, and given to the masses. And they are rarely ever given the proper credit and glory that they deserve.
So for me, as someone who, when I look at Black women, I see god, you know? I just see just, like, god power walking this Earth. For me, it is like I-- my drag, it is. It's like a love letter. It's like my way of, like, worshipping them and just showing them that I see you in all of your glory, in every single aspect that you are, the beauty, the vulnerability, even the messy parts. You're still just-- you're so powerful and so wonderful. And I just always want to reflect that in my drag.
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS] Shea! I hate you!
SHEA COULEÉ: It's just, like, for all the aunties that-- you know what I'm saying? Because I know you know this too, when you are just walking down the street, and you just see a Black woman just, like, existing in this world, but just the power--
MONÉT X CHANGE: Right?
SHEA COULEÉ: The power. You're just, like--
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah.
SHEA COULEÉ: --this is too much. You're like, damn, sis!
MONÉT X CHANGE: Absolutely.
SHEA COULEÉ: And you're not even trying. You're not even trying. And you have no idea how much power you radiate you just walking down the street.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah. Whether it's a kitty cat wig, or an Afro, or box braids, or bald--
SHEA COULEÉ: Girl.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Or going straight, like, whatever it is, like, oh my god, look at you, you perfect creature, you specimen.
SHEA COULEÉ: Right. I just be checking out Black women all the time. But just in such a different way. I'm just like, girl! Oh! Do you know? Do you know? You are such a queen.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Which you made a really big statement because you vowed to donate $10,000 to Black Lives Matter on your winning.
SHEA COULEÉ: Yes.
MONÉT X CHANGE: That is-- no winner has ever done that. That's fierce, girl.
SHEA COULEÉ: I think you know what. Now is just the time where we just mobilize and do the best that we can to uplift and amplify our communities. They just really need us now more than ever. And so just any way that I can be of service and be of help, then, you know, I want to do that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah. And you know, this past-- with everything going on, you found yourself at the center of the Black Lives-- the Black Lives-- the Black Chicago town hall. And you took up some people in power, in power in that scene, to task. Are you happy with the results with T Rex and with the bars? And how are you feeling with that now?
SHEA COULEÉ: Ultimately, with T Rex, I will say that I'm disappointed, only because I had really hoped that in that town hall that T Rex would have found the opportunity to hold themselves accountable and really atone and just genuinely apologize for the things that she had done. But that never happened.
And so for her to have her power removed, I feel like, was a really important way that the community held her accountable and said, we don't tolerate this. And without you trying to atone and without you trying to apologize, then you really have no place. And us, as a community, we are excommunicating you.
And I think that that is really powerful. And I feel like that shows a lot of people that Black people, Black queens, Black queers are none to be messed with in this day and age, that we are to be respected and to be given safety in these spaces. We are allowed to feel safe too.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Oh, yeah, girl. Listen, I've seen this. I've seen some things being started in New York. I've heard something started in La similar to that in Chicago. And it just takes one movement for everyone to feel emboldened and powerful and thinking that they can speak out. And that's the catalyst for change. And that's all the change we have around this motherfucking country.
SHEA COULEÉ: Yes. We trying to get that change. We trying to get them coins!
MONÉT X CHANGE: And of course, when you win, the problems don't-- that's when the problems start. And now, with this whole maskgate thing, you found yourself at a party that was thrown for you, that was celebrated for you. And most of the-- it was less than 50 people, all that stuff. But now, people are taking you to task. They're like, you did this. It's wrong. Apologize, mom. Well, what-- it seems like it happened overnight. I put on my phone one day. I was like, oh, god. What's going on?
SHEA COULEÉ: Yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS]
SHEA COULEÉ: [CLEARS THROAT]
What people saw was just, like, a very small portion of what had happened at that gathering. And I think, for me, at the time, I was just kind of frustrated because I don't think people were really just taking into consideration like the additional context that went into that.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah.
SHEA COULEÉ: We have been quarantining for months. Every time that I go out in public, every time I'm in an Uber, a grocery store, always wearing a mask. And this group of friends, like, my tight group of friends, we have developed a safety bubble, people who we have, over the course of time, we have been allowed to have gatherings that we've slowly integrated into the circle. So this was that circle of people.
So no, we weren't wearing masks around each other. But we are people that take it very seriously and are always wearing masks out in public. Many people at that party have tested negatively within the last week of COVID.
So I think what people were mad about the most was my responses to them, which only went sour when somebody made a comment about my cousin who had passed from COVID. And for me, that was just, like, really triggering. And it just kind of like sparked for me to respond to people with a little bit more attitude.
And I think, ultimately, what it boils down to is ego. You know, I was sitting at the highest high after achieving one of my dreams that I had been working on for a decade. And in this moment, I was being celebrated and loved by my closest and dearest friends. And I just wanted for people to understand that I needed that love in that moment.
Because, yeah, there has been a lot. We've all been going through a lot. And I wasn't able to quite check my ego at that moment. My ego was not ready. It said, um, no, I still deserve to celebrate myself.
And for me, it's hard to apologize unless I have really felt that I have done harm. Otherwise, for me, it feels like lip service. And everything that I do, I always want to do authentically. So especially, it's hard when you have strangers that don't have the full context telling you you need to apologize to me. And I'm like--
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS]
SHEA COULEÉ: What did I do to you? I'm like, I don't under-- you know, I realize that us being the people that we are, we have a platform. And there is a responsibility that we have to our fans to always be an example.
But at the same time, I feel like people can't remove our humanity. We can't be expected to be perfect all the time.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Oh, right. Oh, we're human, Shea? I didn't know we're human. We are?
SHEA COULEÉ: That's the thing. That's the thing that gets me. I'm just like, I feel like sometimes you guys forget that we are human beings, that we aren't perfect. And I feel like if some of these people, if you, in your day-to-day life, like, whenever you made a little mistake, and you had people pointing at you and being like, you need to apologize to me, you need to apologize to me for making that mistake, I'm like, girl, but I didn't do anything to you. I guess I can apologize for my actions. But I'm still having to come to the realization of what it is necessarily that I did wrong.
Like I said, we had really built a safe bubble, and it was, like, a safe space. And from what I understand, we're all doing really well. So I feel like if I put anybody in any sort of danger, I do apologize for that. And I guess only time will tell. I guess that's one thing that's, like, tricky with a virus. You don't know.
But I just feel like I wish that people would understand a little bit more that it wasn't just like us running around being crazy, that we are a tight knit group of people who've taken a lot of precautions. And so us not wearing a mask that one time, sorry it ruffled your feathers. But unfortunately, RuPaul's not going to take my crown and my $100,000. So yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: It's almost like that thing where you make a mistake-- you're doing a tweet, and you type a word wrong, and then you delete it, and then you put another tweet on, they're like, no, I have a picture. You made a mistake. I'm like, yeah.
SHEA COULEÉ: They would literally be like, I love how you fixed that typo. You're like, yeah, because that's what people do. They fix typos.
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS]
SHEA COULEÉ: Like, you clocked the typo. OK, girl, do you want me to send you a T-shirt? Like, what do you want from me?
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS]
And now moving forward after the "Drag Race," you are moving quickly ahead by partnering with OnlyFans. Like, no queen-- well, not that I know of. OK, let me not say only because then they'll be like Monét says. I don't know any queens or anyone with such a big platform on OnlyFans.
Well, there is [INAUDIBLE], but I've been looking at his nudes for a while now, because work.
SHEA COULEÉ: [LAUGHS]
MONÉT X CHANGE: But like, that's a major move, girl.
SHEA COULEÉ: Yeah. It's so funny because it's like-- it's crazy how you-- I feel like you're giving me NFS things because it was like-- it was literally an idea that I had. I was just like, man, I mean, I would love to join OnlyFans, but in a way that was like different from-- because I feel like people only understand OnlyFans as a network for people who are sex workers or in the adult entertainment industry.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah.
SHEA COULEÉ: Which "work," sex work is real work.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah.
SHEA COULEÉ: [SNAPS] Support them. Support our adult entertainers and models. But I just felt like-- I feel like-- it was literally Beyonce saying a line about it in "The Savage Remix."
MONÉT X CHANGE: Savage, yeah.
SHEA COULEÉ: I was like OnlyFans is on Beyonce's radar. I was just like, I need to get into this. And so I had thought about it. And then like, literally-- I'm not even kidding you. Like a week and a half later, somebody from OnlyFans reached out. And they're like, hey, we're just really trying to rebrand, not so much rebrand but expand upon the type of content that's on the platform. And they were like, would you want to partner with us and do something? And I was just like, yes, I already have these ideas. We can do this. We could do this. We could do this. We could do this. And then they came back with ideas. And it's really great.
So I'm excited to be putting some fun content on OnlyFans. And for right now, it's absolutely free to subscribe to my channel.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Oh, word.
SHEA COULEÉ: Yeah.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Patti, grab the phone. Grab the phone!
SHEA COULEÉ: So you can come through. And you can enjoy the content for free because we want to give people the opportunity to kind of see what it's all about.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Work. Work. And I mean, I have a theory. If we wanted to end world hunger, Beyonce should get on OnlyFans and post one picture, and put her account, set it to 20 bucks. Girl, we would raise a billion dollars overnight, all right?
SHEA COULEÉ: For one nipple, one nipple.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yeah, one nipple.
And next, Shea, you have all these like really-- like, a fashion line, the lipstick ball, when we are able to party and stuff again. You are really-- sky's the limit. Like, work, girl, work, work, work, work, work, work.
SHEA COULEÉ: Thank you. I'm just out here. You know, this is, like, an amazing time, I feel, to be a Black queer artist because so many people are listening and paying attention right now. So it's just like let's strike while the iron is hot and do all the things that I've wanted to do, but in the past, I've been too afraid to do because other people in the industry and professionals have basically said, you're not pretty enough, you're not popular enough, you're not this enough, you're not that enough. And now--
MONÉT X CHANGE: You're all of the things.
SHEA COULEÉ: I'm me enough, and me is good enough.
MONÉT X CHANGE: [LAUGHS]
SHEA COULEÉ: So I'm like, let's do it.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Shea, this has been an amazing conversation. I hope that when you have-- so probably a book, your movie, your TV show, one of those things, when that's coming out, we'll be back in studio. You can come back. We can chat in real time and play games and do all the fun things.
SHEA COULEÉ: Yes! I would love that, yes. Because I'm just like-- we did our nice little champagne moment last summer.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Oh my god. I loved that. That was-- OK, sidebar really quick. That was my first time ever working with Shea in a work thing. And you were fucking cracking me up. You were so funny.
SHEA COULEÉ: Thanks.
MONÉT X CHANGE: It was one of the funnest times I've ever had, working with [INAUDIBLE].
SHEA COULEÉ: Same.
MONÉT X CHANGE: And I did two seasons of "Drag Race." So there you go. Yeah, you're fierce, girl. I can't wait to see what else is coming up and down the pipe line.
SHEA COULEÉ: Thank you so much, Monét. I absolutely love you, love you, love you. And that glitter that you're wearing on that eyelid, that shimmer, is so cute.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Thank you, girl. It's Lit Cosmetics. I love Lit Cosmetics.
SHEA COULEÉ: Oh, OK. Oh, OK.
MONÉT X CHANGE: And this is from their little organic collection. So it's biodegradable. So save your comments.
SHEA COULEÉ: See, and that's important when it comes to glitter.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yes.
SHEA COULEÉ: That is very important.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
SHEA COULEÉ: I like that. Shoutout.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Thank you, sis. Tell Dan I said hey. And tell Baby I said [BARKS].
SHEA COULEÉ: I will.
MONÉT X CHANGE: I'll talk to you soon, girl.
SHEA COULEÉ: Bye, girl.
MONÉT X CHANGE: Bye. That's it, guys. Another episode in the can. Thank you for tuning in as always. Thank you for showing the love. Comments, share, likes. Listen, make sure you put the notifications on for this show because then, you wouldn't have to wonder is a new episode out? Is it coming? I don't know. If you put the notifications on, you won't ever have to question nothing because your girl, Monét, will be right here for you.
Go to Instagram because Patti and I are I going to go to a picture of the slip right now. [POP] And like it, you know.
As always, remember to keep your currency in check. And I'll see y'all next time. Peace!