Tan France reveals why he almost turned down 'Queer Eye'

He said he struggled with the pressure to represent all gay, South Asian men


Words: Steve Brown

Tan France revealed why he almost said no to Queer Eye.

Netflix’s reboot of the classic 1990s TV show has received international praise – and is already on its fourth season in more than a year – and the Fab Five have become some of the most loved people on TV.

With the likes of Karamo Brown, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk and Antoni Porowski, it’s hard to think of a different line-up.

But while speaking to NPR, Queer Eye’s resident fashion expert revealed he almost turned down the show because of the pressure of having to represent all gay, South Asian men.

He said: “That pressure was so hard to handle. The pressure of being one of the first to do something is massively stressful.

“I was worried about the people that I know, and love being attacked by people within our community… In our culture you don’t represent yourself; you represent your family.

“And as far as my culture is concerned, when you are… ‘sinning’ in their eyes, you are bringing shame to your community.”

The fashion expert also goes on to say how he was quite guarded early on in the show but thanks to the other Fab Five, he was able to become more comfortable.

“I was quite guarded before,” he added. “I set my intentions with people very clearly, very quickly, very early on.

“And that’s something that’s quite rare for Americans, I think… British culture, we were a lot more open about what we will accept or not accept from our friends and family, and so I think that’s quite jarring for the boys.

“So, I’ve taught them my boundaries but they’ve also pushed them, and the parts that have been pushed are for the better, as far as I’m concerned.”