‘Queer Eye’ is Going to Japan For a Special 4-Episode Season
Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown and Tan France of the famed “Queer Eye” quintet are going international and their first stop is Tokyo!
On Friday, Netflix dropped the first teasers for the special four-episode series called “Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!” The mini-season, which was initially announced for a 2020 release, is now set to be released in November of this year.
Partly filmed in Tokyo last January, the short clip also teases a special appearance by Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the popular lifestyle experts are set to “bring their expertise to Tokyo to make-better four heroes while experiencing Japanese cuisine, fashion, design, grooming, and culture firsthand.”
The announcement comes just a month after the show was embroiled in a controversy. Last month, three people of color working at an Old Navy in Philadelphia accused the production team of allegedly shooing them off-camera to be temporarily replaced with White staffers for an episode shoot.
Monae Alvarado, a Cambodian woman who has been working at the Old Navy outlet for a year, narrated what she experienced during the filming of “Queer Eye” on her Facebook account. In her post, Alvarado explained that she and the other regularly scheduled employees spent all week cleaning the store for the show. When the show’s crew arrived, they were intentionally hidden and replaced with new employees just for the shoot.
In an interview with Philadelphia magazine, she revealed that she was “told to go to the back of the store by [Old Navy managers] involved with the production,” adding that “about six of my fellow co-workers were there, and we were shooed away from the camera as they filmed with these outside employees.”
Other employees of the outlet backed Alvarado’s claims. “I was super-excited up until the day of and a random group of white folks came in to replace us at our own store,” another employee was quoted as saying.
In response to the controversy, Old Navy released a statement, saying: “These individuals are reflective of our diverse employee population. We would never select employees to participate — or not — based on race. That is completely inaccurate and against the values we stand for as a company.”
“Queer Eye” member France also commented on the issue via an Instagram story, writing, “I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, or overnight, but what I can tell you is that there [is] no way I would ever have allowed production to move POC [people of color] to the back.. I should also mention that I had one person join me on camera, from Old Navy. She was African American. This is the last I will say on this matter.”
“Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!” follows Queer Eye’s fourth season, which made its debut on Netflix back in July. Meanwhile, the show’s official fifth season will be set in Philadelphia, premiering in 2020.