Bobby Berk finally reveals why he really left ‘Queer Eye’ & unfollowed Tan France on Instagram

Bobby Berk finally reveals why he really left ‘Queer Eye’ & unfollowed Tan France on Instagram

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Bobby Berk
Bobby Berk (Photo: Shutterstock)

Designer Bobby Berk has spilled the tea on his real reasons for leaving Queer Eye. Berk announced his departure in November. He said the eighth season, which hit Netflix two days ago, would be his last.

Now the show is out, Berk clearly feels more free to open up about his reasons. At the time, there were rumors that he might have gotten fed up with appearing to do more of the work than the other Queer Eye experts, given that he had to redesign entire homes in a short space of time.

Others suggested tension between Berk and some of the other Fab Five. Eagle-eyed social media users spotted that Berk unfollowed Tan France on Instagram.

Berk sat down with Vanity Fair to clear the air. He began by saying how “life-changing” Queer Eye had been for him and making the decision to leave “wasn’t an easy one.”

He says when Queer Eye first aired, he and the other experts signed a seven-season contract which expired at the end of 2022. At the time, they’d just shot two seasons back-to-back in New Orleans, with the second one now airing.

Berk truly believed that would be the end of Queer Eye.

“We thought we were done. Mentally and emotionally, I thought we all moved on. I know I did, and I started planning other things.”

Hollywood strikes

However, in early 2023, he says Netflix unexpectedly renewed the show. He says the writers’ and actors’ strike in Hollywood meant the streamer faced a lack of new content. It offered the Fab Five contracts committing them to another four seasons.

Berk says he knew other members of the team were already throwing themselves into other projects and indicated they were unlikely to sign. Berk, therefore, says he still felt the show was over.

“We’d just assumed that the show wouldn’t come back if we all didn’t come back,” he says. “I was like, I’m not going to be having FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] ’cause the show is not going to happen. I had become at peace with it.”

However, he says that shortly before the deadline to sign the contract, some people changed their minds. All four of his fellow co-presenters decided to commit.

“And with only one of us not coming back, Netflix felt [it] could recast one person,” he says.

“I can’t be mad—for a second I was”

Initially, Berk was upset.

“There were definitely emotions. But each one of us had our reasons why we did what we did,” Berk says. “I can’t be mad—for a second I was.”

However, he says he had mentally prepared himself to move on and had already started on other projects. He didn’t want to abandon or postpone those projects.

Vanity Fair asked him directly about whether he was unhappy with his share of the work on Queer Eye.

“You will have never found me quoted as saying that I have the most important job and I do the most work. All five of us are of equal importance,” he replied.

However, he does admit that rumors of a clash with Tan France are true. He does not, however, go into details.

“Tan and I had a moment,” Berk says. “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.”

“Should I have unfollowed Tan? No,” Berk continues. “Maybe I should have just muted him. But that day, I was angry, and that’s the end of it. We became like siblings—and siblings are always going to fight.”

Emmy reunion

All five hosts attended the Emmy’s recently, where they won the award for “Outstanding Structured Reality Program.’ He says he and France were cordial toward one another.

“We both embraced each other, and we both said congratulations. And that’s where we are right now.

“I will always have a very special place in my heart for him and Rob [France’s husband] and the kids. I can foresee in six months or a year, Tan and I at each other’s house being good. The Emmys was already the first bandage on that wound.”

Vanity Fair reached out to Tan France for comment but did not get a response.

Queer Eye season eight is on Netflix now. Check out the trailer below. Netflix has announced the ninth season, with a replacement for Berk, will be set in Las Vegas.


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