Miss Fame Explains Rejecting Offer to Appear in Justin Bieber Video for $500

Miss Fame called out the production team behind an unspecified Justin Bieber music video earlier this month, and now, the RuPaul’s Drag Race alum has given more of her side of the story, exclusively telling Us Weekly that this issue is “about respect.”

Speaking to Us at the Elite Model Look competition in Paris on Monday, November 18, Miss Fame, 34, said the whole debacle started when she received a text message from a casting director asking if she could shoot the music video for three days in Los Angeles for $500, which she previously said wouldn’t have even covered her airfare from New York City.

“They also mentioned, ‘You’re the one and only queen that he wants. It’s the honor of working with him,’” she said. “And then the limit of rate, where that took me was, I really took a second to think about it. I was like, ‘I’m just about to fly to Paris where I’m going to be celebrated as an artist and feel that value that I’ve worked really hard [for].’”

The drag queen, who competed in season 7 of Drag Race, pointed out Justin Bieber’s industry support and his net worth, which is reported to be $285 million. “I’ve done my research,” she told Us. “To say that you are wanting to utilize me as the one and only talent of my type, you should have asked me what it would cost to hire me to provide my talent. Because my time is valuable.”

As an example, she says that when she launched Miss Fame Beauty, she worked with transgender models, and she made sure each “felt compensated for their time.”

On Wednesday, November 13, Miss Fame posted screenshots from her conversation with the casting director, who said that “JB would love for her to be in the video as the ONE AND ONLY drag QUEEN.”

“If you want to involve LGBTQIA+ artist[s] in JB music videos, I suggest respectable compensation/rate for their (mine) time & talent,” Miss Fame added in her Instagram Stories. “I can’t pay my rent off of the ‘honor’ or ‘experience.’”

The video production team, in a statement to PAPER magazine, said that Bieber was not involved in casting any extras and that all talent was offered the same amount of money.

Talking to Us on Monday, Miss Fame clarified that she wasn’t upset with Justin Bieber but added that this has happened before with other recording artists. “I’ve had so many major pop stars reach out to me, and I’ve worked in many music videos in the last 10 years, [and] I have not been paid by numerous artists,” she said. “And I thought, ‘How many years in the game am I going to be here?’ Where I’m just saying, ‘OK, well, apparently, I’m valued enough that you want me to represent your image, but I’m not valued enough to compensate at a rate that’s ever going to help me build my life.’”

She went on: “I have agents and people that are fighting to create change working with me. But at the end of the day, I’m a trailblazer for my own life direction, and if I’m not speaking up at the height of my career, if I talked about it later, I would come across bitter. So I’m talking about it today where I have a point of authority, because if I’m not going to do it, who will?”

The “Rubber Doll” singer has advice for production teams hiring talent in the future: “Just asking, ‘What makes you feel comfortable?’ Or expressing, ‘Here’s what we have available. Are you willing to work for this amount or do we have to have that conversation?’ They should have asked to speak with my agent out of respect because, at the end of the day, I’m the talent. I shouldn’t be hopping on board for that conversation. I think they tried to be like pulling a fast one on my agent. No shade, but come on.”

She continued: “It’s like, I wouldn’t be texting Justin Bieber directly to say, ‘I want you to work for me, and I don’t have any money. Can you come over?’”

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