Race-related drama on 'Project Runway' gets heated and causes contestant to quit

On Thursday night's episode of Project Runway, the theme was streetwear, which immediately sparked a conversation regarding racism and cultural appropriation between contestants Meg Ferguson and Prajjé Oscar Jean-Baptiste.

"We can't be afraid to say the 'racism' word, and we can't be afraid to say, like, 'whitewashing' and 'appropriation.' Like, you design because you grew up not seeing people like you on the runway," Meg told Prajjé, who was trying his best to do his work and not continue the conversation.

"Oftentimes when you find people in support of our issues, as Black folks, it kind of comes off as if they know what our troubles are and they're our saving grace. And that's usually a big misunderstanding in the community and how support comes," shared Prajjé.

Meg continued, saying, "This should be a Black magic moment and, like, I feel like we missed the mark." Prajjé said that he began to feel a little "uncomfortable" with Meg's comments, but it wasn't until later when the real drama happened between Meg and another designer, Kenneth Barlis, that Prajjé's real feelings about her came out.

Basically, Prajjé, who is from Haiti, planned on creating a look that referenced his culture, so it only made sense to designer and mentor Cristian Siriano that he have a Black model. However, this made Kenneth realize that he wanted an Asian model for his Asian-inspired design, and the only Asian model just so happened to be assigned to Meg.

Meg didn't love the idea of trading models 16 hours into the design process. However, Meg stated, "It's so important to me to respect and acknowledge the fact that he wanted to design for his own culture. I wouldn't look like a woman of my word, and I would kind of look like an asshole, or, like, that bitchy woman if I said, 'No, I don't want to switch.'"

While Meg's intentions were good, as she stated that she respects why Kenneth wanted a model that can truly represent the design's inspiration, it was the way she went about it – semi throwing a fit and making a huge deal about it in front of the models and the entire room – that didn't sit right with her fellow Project Runway competitors.

Meg was genuinely confused why she was being accused as being "fake" by Prajjé, which, in turn, created a contentious confrontation between her and Kenneth.

In the end, Kenneth ran off crying, while Meg stormed off set demanding producers take her mic off and, ultimately, Meg decided it was better for her mental health that she leave the competition entirely.

Video Transcript

MEG FERGUSON: I just got called fakest [BLEEP], and you said nothing. [BLEEP] you, dude. [BLEEP] you. [BLEEP] you.

KYLIE MAR: On "Project Runway" Thursday, the designers took on their first individual challenge with the theme of streetwear, which immediately sparked a conversation regarding racism and cultural appropriation between contestants Meg and Prajje, or more accurately, between Meg and herself.

MEG FERGUSON: This should be a Black magic moment, and like-- I feel like we missed the mark.

PRAJJE OSCAR JEAN-BAPTISTE: I am getting uncomfortable a little bit, but I say, OK, I'm done with it. I think that should have been the end. But she's going, she's going, and going.

KYLIE MAR: But the real drama happened later between Meg and another designer named Kenneth. Basically, Prajje, who is from Haiti planned on creating a look that referenced his culture, so it only made sense to designer and mentor Christian Siriano that he have a Black model. However, this made Kenneth realize that he wanted an Asian model for Asian inspired design and the only Asian model was assigned to Meg.

PRAJJE OSCAR JEAN-BAPTISTE: So we're trying to see how we can make it work--

MEG FERGUSON: No, we're not.

PRAJJE OSCAR JEAN-BAPTISTE: OK.

MEG FERGUSON: Don't put. No, he want my model. Because I mean--

PRAJJE OSCAR JEAN-BAPTISTE: --it's all about representation on--

KYLIE MAR: While Meg's intentions were good, as she stated that she respects why Kenneth wanted a model that can truly represent the designer's inspiration, it was the way she went about it that didn't sit right with her fellow "Project Runway" competitors. PRAJJE OSCAR JEAN-BAPTISTE:

- This morning, you are pretending to support me and then also then to use [BLEEP] it on him.

MEG FERGUSON: How?

- You know him, in front of a model and everyone in this room. So don't tell me, oh, how? How? how, How? how, How? how. No, you're [BLEEP] fake.

KYLIE MAR: It all got very contentious in the workroom. Kenneth ran off crying, while Meg stormed off set demanding producers take her mic off. And in the end, Meg decided it was better for her mental health that she leave the competition entirely.

MEG FERGUSON: Was I bitchy about it? Probably. But ultimately, the intensity of the competition, is not a good place for me.

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