The team behind RuPaul's Drag Race have discussed Sherry Pie's removal from this season's finale for the first time.
Sherry - real name Joey Gugliemelli - was disqualified from the competition just days after the new season premiered when it was alleged that Gugliemelli had a history of catfishing young men.
A report published on the Buzzfeed website claimed that in 2015, Gugliemelli solicited multiple men into stripping on camera - with one claiming that he had been told to masturbate - under the guise of being a casting producer for a new movie.
Gugliemelli issued an apology for his actions but was disqualified from Drag Race, despite having made the top four, forcing producers to scramble to re-edit episodes to minimise Sherry Pie's screen time.
"We were devastated when we first found out," exec producer Randy Barbato told Variety. "But we also knew that we had this amazing cast, we had this amazing season, and we knew that this season and the cast were bigger and more powerful than a scandalous headline.
"It was a gut punch - I mean, we were [already] delivering episodes of the show. There was no road map. There were long conversations with the network and [production company] World of Wonder, and yeah, there were no reference points for us."
Fellow ep Tom Campbell added: "It was case-by-case and just trying to make sure that we were honouring the queens and telling the story so it made sense for the audience - that was our only goal. We live in a crazy, black and white, very threatening world of social media, and I think we wanted to protect all parties - the victims and the queens and everyone."
The final episode of the season aired last night without a single mention of Sherry Pie.