14 Things You Didn’t Know About Netflix’s Queer Eye
Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye is officially returning for season two and fans of the Fab Five couldn’t be more thrilled! The hugely popular Netflix series comes as a reboot from an early 2000’s version of the show entitled Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. The reboot follows a similar premise and features five gay men providing straight men with advice on everything from grooming, cooking, fashion, interior design, food, wine, and culture. Queer Eye has proved to be so much more than just an average makeover show and teaches life lessons on important topics such as racial barriers and stereotypes about masculinity. For more insight into the Fab Five, follow along for 12 things you didn’t know about Netflix’s Queer Eye:
14. Karamo was on The Real World previously
Surprisingly, Queer Eye isn’t Karamo Brown’s first time appearing on reality television! The Fab Five member actually appeared on television back in 2004 on the MTV reality show The Real World: Philadelphia. His appearance on The Real World marked a revolutionary moment for the industry — the first time a black, gay male appeared on reality TV!
13. The people being made over are referred to as “heroes”
Rather than referring to them as participants or contestants, the Fab Five refers to the individuals who are being made over as “heroes.” This is something that hasn’t been done before on reality television and is definitely refreshing and empowering. The heroes are taking positive steps towards bettering themselves by asking for help and they deserve to be acknowledged for it.
12. The cast met at the audition
After watching even just one episode of Queer Eye it becomes immediately clear how close the Fab Five are. Despite how their relationship appears on television, many will be surprised to know that they actually met for the first time at the audition! Bobby dished the details on how they were chosen to Variety: “It was like speed-dating. We’d go in groups of five from table to table with various executives and just rotate until they found who they were looking for.”
11. Tan was scouted through social media for the show
Tan was surprisingly scouted through social media for the show and was totally surprised when they offered him a job! “The first day I cried because it was so terrifying for me, because I was the kind of guy that didn’t really like to get his photo taken. I thought that they weren’t going to cast me because I made it very clear to the person that told me I got this job, ‘You are out of your mind. Do not give me this job. I get uncomfortable getting my photo taken.’ I went to the audition because I thought I would make some gay friends. I never thought that I would get a job.”
10. Tan’s husband is Mormon
When he’s not filming, Tan France lives in Salt Lake City with his husband of eight years! The two met on a dating site and Tan has admitted that their religious beliefs are actually one of the foundations of their relationship. “It made it easier to date somebody who had similarities to me. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke,” France shared with the New York Post. “We practice some of our religions’ practices. We don’t practice them all. We practice what works for us.”
9. Jonathan has a web series
Grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness has one of the most enthusiastic, high-spirited attitudes of the entire group! His contagious spirit seems like it was meant for reality television, which is likely because he’s had quite a bit of experience in front of the camera. Jonathan actually has a web series which launched in 2013 as a parody of Game of Thrones. The series is entitled Gay of Thrones and was even nominated for an Emmy Award in 2016.
8. Antoni was the personal chef to the first food guide on Queer Eye
Antoni is the “food and wine” connoisseur on the show and he’s dished that he learned his culinary skills from the best! He once served as the personal chef and assistant to Queer Eye For The Straight Guy alum, Ted Allen, which makes Antoni a Queer Eye protege. Ted sent the new Queer Eye production cast a personal recommendation for Antoni!
7. Bobby worked seven days a week to get the houses ready
One of the most astonishing moments of the show is when Bobby Berk, resident interior design expert, reveals the makeover he’s done to the hero’s home. It’s no surprise that these makeovers take work and Bobby even dished that some of the houses he’s worked on required him to work seven days a week to ensure the transformation was completed on time. “While my Fab brothers often had three to four days off a week, some weeks, depending on what we were building, I worked seven days a week,” he dished to Architectural Digest.
6. Bobby has a home furnishings line
Bobby Berk has done some seriously remarkable home transformations on Queer Eye! If you’re a fan of Bobby’s work, he’s now made his style accessible for those watching at home with the release of his own home furnishings line. Berk’s line is known for “epitomizing hip, minimalist urban luxury” and “reflects a stylish and youthful spirit that perfectly fits any cool, relaxed lifestyle.”
5. Tan has a successful clothing line
Fashion expert Tan France also has a side business of his own! Tan is the founder of Kingdom & State, a successful women’s clothing line that features feminine, stylish pieces. The women’s apparel line features a range of products from swimsuits to dresses and even layering basics and prides itself on offering quality, fashion conscious products at an affordable price.
4. Karamo insisted on a crew stipulation in his contract
Working in an environment that prides itself on equality and fairness is crucial to a satisfying work life. After working on previous reality television sets, Karamo had one stipulation added into his contract before joining the Queer Eye crew. “I’m all about being representation and living my dreams. I make sure that in my contract they must hire two to three gay Africa-Americans to be on crew. I’ve done that now on the past three shows that I’ve been on and that’s important for me,” he shared with AU Magazine.
3. Karamo runs an HIV awareness organization
Similar to his Fab Five brothers, Karamo also has a side gig that he works on when he’s not filming Queer Eye. He runs an HIV awareness organization called 6in10. “My background is in psychotherapy and I’m a licensed social worker, so I thought why not start something where we can address the mental health of black gay and bisexual men who are being infected or affected by HIV,” he shared with AU Magazine. “That was a big thing for me because I’m negative but dated many men who were positive. But when I come across some men who are negative, for some reason they don’t think it is our issue. That always blows my mind because if it affects one then it affects all of us.”
2. Bobby is happily married
Bobby is another Fab Five member that is in a happy, committed marriage! Bobby is married to a man named Dewey and the duo have been married for just over five years. It’s not known how the couple initially met but they share quite a few adorable photos of themselves on Instagram. The happy couple currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
1. There was pressure on the Fab Five to live up to the original
Since the Netflix series is a reboot, there was definitely some added pressure on the men to live up to the original version of the show which launched in 2003 and lasted for over 100 episodes. Tan France explained, “There is pressure. This is a legacy show, and people love this show. Everybody I’ve spoken to saying I’m on the new Queer Eye, the first thing is ‘I used to watch this with my parents.’ These are some staunch, American midwesterners who are saying ‘I watched this with my mom and dad.’ There’s a lot of pressure to make a show, that we step up and are representing the community very well. There’s a lot of people that we need to represent here. We had so much fun, but there was always that feeling: don’t let people down, let’s do this. Let’s do the best we can.”