VH1 announced tonight that it’s disqualifying a performer from its currently running 12th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, after Buzzfeed published a piece filled with allegations that Joey “Sherry Pie” Gugliemelli had spent several years posing as a casting director over email in order to trick young men into filming themselves performing degrading acts. Although the episodes in which Gugliemelli performed on the long-running competition series will still air, he has been barred from the show’s live finale episode.
The story itself—which Gugliemelli appears to have confirmed through an apology posted to the Sherry Pie account on Facebook—is legitimately bizarre, and includes a year-long scheme in which Gugliemelli posed as a casting director named Allison Mossie online, under which guise he allegedly pressured one of his real-life “friends” to, among other things, take steroids in the hope of getting cast in a fictitious film called Bulk. Another man says that he was asked by Gugliemelli—posing as his own assistant—to masturbate as part of an audition scene. In all, 7 men have accused Gugliemelli of lying to them, asking them invasive questions, and encouraging them to film themselves performing degrading or sexual acts in pursuit of these “parts.”
Although several of the men say that they worked out what Gugliemelli was doing years earlier—including, in a few cases, directly confronting him—allegations of his behavior became public after he was announced as a contestant on this year’s installment of Drag Race, with several men saying they were worried he would use exposure from the show to continue these behaviors with more young men. (Per NBC News, at least one of the accusers says Gugliemelli was perpetuating the scheme right up until last December, when he was cast on the series.) VH1 issued a message with tonight’s episode of Drag Race, announcing Sherry Pie’s disqualification from the series.