Queer Eye’s Tan France says Bobby Berk was ‘fired’, denies campaign to ‘get rid’ of him

Queer Eye’s Tan France says Bobby Berk was ‘fired’, denies campaign to ‘get rid’ of him

Queer Eye star Tan France has issued a statement after a report claimed he “campaigned to replace [Bobby] Berk with interior designer and friend Jeremiah Brent”.

Berk, the Netflix show’s interior design expert, announced last November that he was leaving Queer Eye after its latest season.

Earlier this week, a bombshell Rolling Stone report based on interviews with several unnamed production sources claimed that Berk had “butted heads” with fashion expert France and hair stylist Jonathan Van Ness.

Three sources further alleged that France and cooking expert Antoni Porowski campaigned to have Berk replaced by Brent with one source calling it “mean girl antics”.

Taking to Instagram on Friday (8 March), Doncaster-born France shared a selfie video in which he said: “Yes I’ve heard what’s going on.

“I just want to address one point real quick. My former colleague getting fired had nothing to do with me trying to get my friend hired. Netflix and the production companies did a full-on casting. I didn’t put my friend up for the job. They ended up getting it because they were the best person for the job.”

In his announcement last year, Berk did not allude to being fired; in fact, he said leaving had “not been an easy decision to be at peace with”.

The Independent has contacted Berk’s representatives for comment.

France continued in the video: “Am I so happy that they have the job? Uh-huh. I really am. I think they’re going to be incredible on the show, but I didn’t get them hired by getting rid of somebody else.

“And this all started because of a comment on a gossip blog that just got reposted, reposted, and then it’s almost become gospel. So from the horse’s mouth: I’m telling you, that that’s not at all how it went down. And that’s all I'll say on the matter. If you need to dig deeper, if you still don't believe me, so be it – but that’s it.”

France’s post was quickly “liked” on Instagram by Van Ness and Porowski.

In an apparent riposte, Berk shared a GIF on Twitter/X Friday morning of Michelle Obama saying: “When they go low, we go high.”

Rumours of a feud were first sparked when Berk unfollowed France on Instagram last year.

Berk previously addressed the incident with France in a conversation with Vanity Fair in January, sharing that the two “will be fine”.

“Tan and I had a moment. 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 said.

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

Brent was announced as Berk’s successor on 27 February. He and his husband of 10 years, fellow designer Nate Berkus, have appeared on HGTV’s Nate & Jeremiah by Design and The Nate and Jeremiah Home Project.

Brent and the rest of the cast begin production on season nine of Queer Eye in Las Vegas this Spring.