LGBTQIA+ cover sparks debate over inclusion of controversial celebs

On May 13, Entertainment Weekly (EW) unveiled their June cover. In honor of Pride Month, the illustrated cover celebrates “LGBTQ storytellers, enduring icons and unforgettable Hollywood history.”

The LGBTQ icons depicted on the cover are: Janelle Monáe, Freddie Mercury, Kate McKinnon, Ricky Martin, John Waters, Dan Levy, Ellen DeGeneres, Rock Hudson, Laverne Cox, Lily Tomlin, Kristen Stewart, Lil Nas X, George Takei, Ryan Murphy, Cynthia Nixon, Marlene Dietrich, RuPaul and Elton John.

Though the cover was largely celebrated upon its release, many people had a problem with a few of the celebrities chosen to be represented — namely, RuPaul and Ellen DeGeneres.

Recently, RuPaul revealed that he and his partner “lease mineral rights” on their Wyoming ranch and “sell water to oil companies.” Yes, RuPaul basically admitted that he and his partner are involved in hydraulic fracking, and the internet was not happy about this.

“Is the glowing on the hill from the fracking sites on Ru’s land?” one person joked about the cover.

“That’s FRACKING awesome!” another user quipped about RuPaul’s inclusion.

Ellen, meanwhile, has been alienating fans by the minute thanks to countless reports claiming that she is “one of the meanest people alive.” It also doesn’t help that in April, it was revealed that her staff was kept in the dark about their working hours and pay amid the pandemic. Oh, and who can forget when she defended her friendship with George W. Bush?

“yall can take ellen off of there,” one person tweeted at EW.

“The cover would be much better without Ellen!!” another person added.

Given all the criticism, Jack Hughes, the artist behind the cover, took to Twitter to address his creative decisions.

“The list was huge, there were deadline constraints and people had to be cut,” he explained to someone who was mad about Billy Porter and Frank Ocean not being included. “I would have loved to illustrate every gay person in Hollywood that ever existed, but ya know, we didn’t have all the time in the world.”

As for the inclusion of Ellen and RuPaul, Hughes explained that EW “came to [him] with these 18 people.” Yes, evidently, EW thought that Ellen and RuPaul were more worthy of a spot than Billy Porter, Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, Frank Ocean and all the other non-problematic gay icons out there.

If you enjoyed this story, In The Know also covered Netflix’s response to a criticism about its “unnecessary gay characters.”

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