Charlize Theron, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ guest judge, tells drag community: ‘Don’t give up’

Charlize Theron in a black beret, a black sheer jacket and a long necklace
Charlize Theron was a guest host in the premiere episode of Season 16 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
(Gregorio Borgia / Associated Press)

Charlize Theron expressed support for the drag community in an appearance as a guest judge in the Season 16 premiere of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

In a clip that was widely shared on social media after the episode premiered Friday on MTV, the Oscar-winning actress gave a pep talk to contestants on the show — urging them to stand strong amid a growing wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that has targeted drag performers.

“I just wanted to say, given the climate in our country right now, there is a lot of energy being put toward your community not existing. I truly believe that all of that is coming from a place of fear,” Theron told the competitors. “The beauty of who you guys are, what your community brings to all of us and the truth of who you are and represent will come out. Don’t give up.”

Four people sit behind a pink desk.
Michelle Visage, left, RuPaul, Carson Kressley and Charlize Theron in the premiere episode of Season 16 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Theron elaborated further in a heart-to-heart with contestants on the aftershow, “RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked.”

“I have two small children, and I want them to grow up in a world where they know what it means to accept what’s not you, what is different and love that, to not be scared of that, and to embrace it, and that’s my job as a mom,” she said.

The two-episode premiere will feature Latin pop princess Becky G as a guest judge. Among the list of guest celebrity judges is Mayan Lopez, who acts alongside her father, George Lopez, in NBC’s comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Dec. 14, 2023

“I feel like we’re living in a day and age where our words can so easily be weaponized against us. I worry about us, as people, and what we can do to each other, and how powerful it is when you love and how powerful it is when you hate. One destroys and one builds.”

A longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ causes, Theron revealed in 2019 that her eldest child, Jackson, is a transgender girl.

“They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide,” she said of her two daughters. “My job as a parent is to celebrate them and to love them and to make sure that they have everything they need in order to be what they want to be.”