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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

ACLU x RuPaul's Drag Defense Fund

Finalist in Social Good Campaign


The freedom to express ourselves and our gender identity in creative ways fuels artistry and drives culture – and it is a fundamental right. Drag is protected by the First Amendment like any creative expression such as dance, fashion, and music. And we need to keep it that way. Earlier this spring, the ACLU, MTV, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and World of Wonder joined forces amidst drag bans and threats against the LGBTQ+ community, to donate to the Drag Defense Fund in support of the ACLU’s LGBTQ+ rights work. 

Strategy and Execution

To kick off the announcement, RuPaul posted a video to his socials in which he made an impassioned speech about the importance of voting and denounced the anti-drag sentiment. We shared these posts to MTV, Logo, and RuPaul’s Drag Race socials, and drove fans to the Drag Defense Fund site. 
We have continued to find new opportunities to reach fans about the fund. We used show clips featuring the all-too-timely Wigloose: The Rusical, in which the Queens performed a spoof on “Footloose” where drag is banned in a small town. In response to The Rusical momentum, “Footloose” star, Kevin Bacon was inspired to create his own “Drag Is Art” campaign to support the ACLU’s Drag Defense Fund. We also shared a PSA from Bianca Del Rio in which she addressed the bans and spoke directly to fans about donating. Fans responded positively to this PSA, and appreciated hearing from Bianca directly as a respected figure in the community. 


The ACLU’s Drag Defense Fund continues to be ingrained in the Drag Race universe, with QR codes appearing on-screen in episodes and living socially with posts driving to the fund. Since the launch in March, the Drag Defense Fund has raised over $1.75M in donations. 

Content related to the fund from Drag Race social accounts has generated nearly 710K engagements and 8.6Mviews across 35 posts.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

MTV Entertainment Studios


Entry Credits