Netflix(NEW YORK) — Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which first aired 15 years ago, is back on Netflix with a more diverse cast and a shorter title: Queer Eye. But do we really need a new version? Tan France, the show’s fashion expert, says yes.
“There is always a need for a Queer Eye. Until we are as visible as our straight counterparts,” he tells ABC Radio. Helping with that visibility is the show’s new location: Atlanta, Georgia.
“[It] meant that I was interacting with people who probably have never met somebody like me before — not just a gay person, but all the other things I represent,” the British-Pakistani man explains. “So when I found out it was in Atlanta, that was the thing that convinced me I should do the show.”
Both critics and fans have given the reboot rave reviews. France says he and the rest of the new Fab Five are surprised and relieved.
“It’s hard taking on a legacy show!” he says. “[But] we’ve had great reviews from the press, and we’re lucky enough to be in a world where we get immediate responses from people all over the world…[And] literally, I have not had one negative message.”
Thanks to those responses, France has learned that there are a huge number of straight men tuning in.
“[They tell me], ‘I never dreamt that I would be watching a makeover show, but this has taught me so much,'” France says. “And a lot of them are sharing stories of friends and family that they didn’t accept because they didn’t understand who they were. And we’ve given them a window into our world that highlights that we are just like everybody else.”
Queer Eye is streaming now on Netflix.
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