Asia O’Hara has issued a public apology after fans were concerned about the welfare of the butterflies she featured during her final lip-sync performance on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
O’Hara used the live butterflies as a prop during one of the show’s last lip-syncs (no spoilers) but when she tried to release them as a dramatic reveal during the song they fell to the ground and appeared to be struggling to move, Pink News reported.
“If you are unhappy with me I understand, I’ve been unhappy with myself since that night but I’m going to do my best to make it right,” the drag queen tweeted.
“It’s important to know that I would never purposefully hurt any living being and have the upmost respect for animals.”
In response to fans on Twitter who were concerned the butterflies had been harmed, O’Hara vowed to donate 100 volunteer hours to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
“I’ll continue to be humble, own my mistakes and lead with love and light,” she wrote.
O’Hara told Entertainment Weekly she suspected the butterflies’ failure to launch was the result of their shipping conditions.
“I used what are called Painted Lady butterflies, and going west across the continental divide, they have to be kept cool — basically in hibernation or asleep — so they don’t stress,” she explained.
“They need to warm up to a certain temperature in order to fly away.
“I, of course, rehearsed it at home several times and it worked, but [the finale was] a different place and a different environment, and I don’t think the contraptions were warm enough to wake the butterflies up.
“But, as they warmed up in the stage lights during the break, they started to fly away!”
Kameron Michaels, Aquaria, Asia O’Hara and Eureka all battled to become the winner of season 10 in the finale episode, which is streaming in Australia on Stan from today.
— Asia O'Hara (@AsiaOharaLand) June 29, 2018