The dark truth behind Queer Eye, from ‘abusive’ diva behaviour to secret fallout
Posted by  badge Boss on Mar 06
Queer Eye has been slammed by some of its production staff (Picture: Netflix)

It might be billed as on TV, but has come under the spotlight for drama unfolding behind-the-scenes that suggests things are anything but peachy.

A reboot of the series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which ran from 2003 until 2007, the series relaunched in 2018.

This time around the panel of experts were made up of Antoni Porowski (food and wine), Bobby Berk (design), Jonathan Van Ness (grooming), (fashion), who worked together to offer makeovers to participants living in places like , Kansas City and New Orleans.

Six years on, there’s now been 71 episodes over eight seasons, but the TV show seems to be in turmoil.

The Fab Five and their beloved show now seems to be falling apart at the seams.

The Fab Five are Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Tan France and Jonathan Van Ness(Picture: Netflix)

It all kicked off a few months ago when Bobby, 42, abruptly .

‘It’s not been an easy decision to be at peace with, but a necessary one,’ he posted on social media.

‘Although my journey with Queer Eye is over, my journey with you is not. You will be seeing more of me very soon.’

The news seemed to come to a shock to at least one of his co-stars, with Karamo, 43, commenting: ‘We are #ForeverTheFab5 no matter what. I’m about to be at Netflix’s door & e-mails telling them you can’t leave! Who is coming with me?’

A few months on, a damning expose from has now revealed that there have been ‘petty disputes and competition over who is considered the show’s top star’.

Jonathan, 36, who is the most popular of the group on social media with 5.7 million Instagram followers, is alleged to have been displaying diva behaviour, with production sources telling the publication the TV star was emotionally ‘abusive’ and had ‘rage issues’.

They also labelled Jonathan, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/he/she pronouns, as a ‘monster’, ‘nightmare’ and ‘demeaning’ to work with.

Bobby announced last year he was leaving the show (Picture: Cindy Barrymore/Shutterstock)

One source estimated that during filming, Jonathan would explode at least once week, and despite their public persona being a warm and charismatic person, they would ‘need to yell at somebody at least once a day’.

Their behaviour even allegedly led to some of the other stars nervous to shoot scenes together.

Things had become so strained of late that one person said of the Fab Five: ‘None of them are friends.’

Despite the group being put together following an international search and hundreds of applicants and having ‘instant chemistry’, their connection now seems to be broken.

‘That’s truly what it was: a manufactured boy band with big personalities that certain ones were favoured and certain ones were not, and then eventually [things] turned really toxic,’ a source said.

Throughout the series, episodes have sparked countless teary moments for the participants, their friends and families, the hosts and those watching on at home.

Jonathan has been labelled a ‘monster’ and ‘nightmare’ to work with (Picture: Michael Tran/ AFP)

The cast themselves have also shared their personal stories across the series, speaking about experiences including coming out as non-binary, the complexity of Black queerness and Black masculinity, and being kicked out of a religious home after coming out as gay.

But earlier this year Bobby admitted he’d had some issues with Tan behind the scenes.

‘Tan and I had a moment,’ he told Vanity Fair.

‘There was a situation, and that’s between Tan and I, and it has nothing to do with the show.

‘It was something personal that had been brewing — and nothing romantic, just to clarify that,’ he added.

In November last year Karamo also revealed that he, Bobby and Jonathan were not invited to Antoni’s, 39, bachelor party.

Tan has spoken about being labelled a ‘terrorist’ during the filming of the first season (Picture: Getty)

In a frank conversation with Louis Theroux on his self-titled podcast last year, Tan, 40 spoke about two particularly strained moments that happened while filming the series over the years, during which he felt like he’d been placed in unsettling situations.

In the first season, the Fab Five gave Trump-supporting police officer Cory Waldrop a makeover, but a scene set up by the producers left Karamo ‘really upset’.

In the episode, the crew had organised for Cory’s friend to pull the group over as a joke, however with Karamo in the driver’s seat, they were all visibly nervous over a Black man being pulled over by a cop.

‘It was staged, but none of us knew this,’ Tan reflected, explaining how producers had tried to get some-one else to drive, but were overruled by the stars who made the final call.

‘They will plan things to prank us and so Karamo drove and then got pulled over by a police officer and he was really angry because he felt like production should have told him what was happening because a Black man being pulled over by police was scary,’ he said.

In the interview, Tan also spoke about how he faced racist comments from another participant on the first season, who has since died.

The crew of the show have not held back (Picture: Netflix)

Tan, the son of Muslim Pakistani immigrant parents, was asked if he was a ‘terrorist’.

‘I still 100% per cent support the idea of the show and what we are tying to achieve, but sometimes we are human and can be frustrated,’ he said.

On the first ever day filming the series, Tan explained how he had a ‘really racist interaction’ with the ‘hero’ (makeover participant).

‘He made a really odd comment that threw me, and I tried to quit the show…he called me a terrorist in the car,’ he said.

‘We were in the car alone and he assumed I was Mexican, and he asked me something in Spanish and I tried to use a few words but then said I didn’t speak Spanish and he was really confused and asked if I was from Mexico and I said, “no I’m not, does my accent make you think I might be?”.

After explaining he was British and had a Pakistani background, Tan was then met with the comment: ‘Pakistan? Where the terrorists are from.’

There were initially plans for the show to end with the current season (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

‘He got really concerned that we in the car alone because he couldn’t believe he could sign up for a show with a Muslim,’ he said.

He added: ‘It is really hard for me to be kind at all times.’

Despite the drama, there are still plans for an upcoming ninth season, with Jeremiah Brent recently being revealed as Bobby’s replacement.

The new season goes into production in Las Vegas this spring.

However, Bobby previously shared his exit came after it seemed like the Fab Five had agreed they were done with the series.

According to him, the group initially signed a seven-year contract that would’ve been fulfilled by September 2022.

However Netflix opted to renew the series year due to content shortage caused by the Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strike.

While Bobby ‘started planning other things’ and decided not to renew his contract, he was shocked when his co-stars decided they wanted to continue.

‘With only one of us not coming back, Netflix felt [it] could recast one person,’ he said, admitting the reversal upset him at first.

‘There were definitely emotions,’ he said. ‘But each one of us had our reasons why we did what we did. I can’t be mad.’

Reflecting on what was his final day of filming, he said: ‘The Fab Five and the crew, we all stood there, and we took pictures and cried. We thought we were done. Mentally and emotionally, I thought we all moved on.’ has contacted Netflix and representatives for Jonathan Van Ness for comment.

Queer Eye is streaming on Netflix.