After controversial congressman and one-time Rio drag queen George Santos and ex-View cohost Meghan McCain praised The Boulet Brothers' Dragula queen Meatball for her February 2023 parody performance targeting the indicted politician, the drag star exclusively tells EW both personalities missed the point.
"I have been dying to know what he thought about the performance since it went viral seven months ago, and I am gagged, to say the least," Meatball tells EW via email. "I'm honored that Congressman George Santos thought I did a good job, but, his husband is right. It was a clear mockery."
On Tuesday's episode of the Meghan McCain Has Entered the Chat podcast, Santos praised Meatball's viral performance at RuPaul's Drag Race winner Sasha Velour's NightGowns stage show as "flattering" and "hilarious," while McCain called it a "badge of honor" to be impersonated by a drag queen.
Meatball tells EW she agrees with McCain that drag impersonation is often a high honor, but that wasn't the case with her work on stage.
"I do believe they both misunderstood the context and intent of the performance," Meatball explains, going on to reference Santos' scandals involving alleged lies that landed him in hot water with constituents in New York as well as with the Justice Department.
Meatball also cited Santos' drag alter-ego, Kitara Ravache, as a source of inspiration for her performance, as Santos, a gay man himself, has maintained controversial views surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community — specifically regarding whether drag artists should be allowed to perform at family-friendly events.
Sasha Velour/YouTube; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
"The image of him as a drag queen came out earlier that week, which he wasn't commenting on at all, or owning up to it," Meatball says. "Every day I become more and more obsessed with the news surrounding Congressman Santos and his inability to read the room or have any awareness to how he's being perceived. The delusion is what I love, and I think a lot of drag queens live in a world surrounded by delusions, so, maybe that's why I feel so connected to my king, George Santos. Politics is just drag with money? So, maybe there's a newer George Santos number on the way."
EW has reached out to McCain and Santos for comment.
Meatball's performance as Santos gained intense popularity online earlier this year, with fans praising her approach to both the art form itself as well as making a powerful statement about Santos' views clashing with his past behavior. The number saw Meatball take the stage while dressed in a suit and glasses, before shedding it to reveal Kitara drag underneath — all while she lip-synced to Keala Settle's empowerment anthem "This Is Me" from from The Greatest Showman.
Watch Meatball's performance as Santos/Kitara in the video above.
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