PETA Rips ‘Sad Spectacle’ Butterfly Stunt on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Finale

Animal rights group calls for VH1 to “adopt a policy that bans all live animals and stops lip syncs from being literally killer”

A few butterflies may have been harmed in the taping of Thursday’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” finale, and PETA is not happy about it.

The animal rights advocacy group has released a statement condemning the “misguided stunt,” calling on the VH1 reality competition to institute a new policy banning the use of live animals in lip sync performances.

“When performers use live animals as props, nobody wins,” the group said in a statement on Friday. “Asia O’Hara has apologized for this misguided stunt, and PETA hopes the sad spectacle will sway the show to adopt a policy that bans all live animals and stops lip syncs from being literally killer.”

O’Hara, one of the final four queens competing in the “Drag Race” finale, shocked the judges and audience when an attempted stunt involving live butterflies went awry. Instead of releasing a plume of butterflies into the air as planned, when O’Hara went to release them on stage, all of them appeared to be dead.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published shortly after the finale aired, O’Hara explained that the butterflies weren’t actually dead. The temperature in the venue kept them from fully awakening from hibernation, making it appear as though they were.

“They need to warm up to a certain temperature in order to fly away,” she said. “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!”

She also said she’d donate 100 hours of volunteer time to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as a make-good.

“I would like to publicly offer the entire world my deepest apology,” she said in a follow-up statement. “It’s important that everyone knows that I would never purposely hurt any living being and have the utmost respect for all animals.”

Reps for VH1 did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.