Jonathan van Ness breaks silence over claims they were abusive on 'Queer Eye.' Here's a complete timeline of the drama surrounding Bobby Berk's exit.

Jonathan van Ness breaks silence over claims they were abusive on 'Queer Eye.' Here's a complete timeline of the drama surrounding Bobby Berk's exit.
  • "Queer Eye" star Bobby Berk announced in November 2023 that he was leaving the show after season eight.

  • In March 2024, Rolling Stone published an exposé about what led to Berk's exit.

  • Jonathan Van Ness addressed the allegations in June after being accused of having "rage issues."

Netflix's "Queer Eye" reboot built a reputation as a feel-good show about a team of professionals, known as the Fab Five, giving people life makeovers. But the reality TV show's legacy has been marred by drama and rifts among its cast members.

The reboot, which premiered on the streamer in 2018, was initially hosted by Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, and Antoni Porowski.

But after interior designer Berk's shocking exit was announced in the fall, more details about the exit have come to light. Here's a complete timeline of the fallout.

November 13, 2023: Bobby Berk reveals he's exiting 'Queer Eye' after 8 seasons

Bobby Berk at the premiere of "Junction" held at Harmony Gold on January 24, 2024 in Los Angeles,
Bobby Berk announced his exit from "Queer Eye" in 2023.Gilbert Flore/Variety via Getty Images

Berk shared the news via a statement posted on Instagram and broken up into threads on X (formerly known as Twitter).

His full statement read:

"To the Queer Eye Community who have become family to me. The love that I have received from you all over the last 6 years has been absolutely surreal. You have tuned in and been dedicated fans and together we were able to share the healing powers of design. I learned from you all about kindness, love and acceptance and that has changed my life for the better. The way you have embraced me and accepted me for who I am is something that l will truly carry with me for the rest of my life. Throughout these years, you, the die-hard fans of Queer Eye, have all shared so many stories with me about how the show has touched your lives and I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you for being brave enough to share your experiences. To all our wonderful, loving, amazing, and brave heroes there is so much I want to say, and so much gratitude I want to express to you all for letting me into your homes and hearts. It's all because of you that I've kept going all these years and each and every one of you have changed me for the better. I'm so very proud of all of you! Being able to help guide you to find the best version of yourselves is something I never took for granted and never will. It's with a heavy heart that I announce that season 8 will be my final season on Queer Eye. It's not been an easy decision to be at peace with, but a necessary one. Although my journey with Queer Eye is over, my journey with you is not. You will be seeing more of me very soon."

The day after Berk's exit was announced, a source told People magazine that "the parting was amicable."

"Bobby's departure is unrelated to relationships with his castmates," a source told the publication.

That statement was contradicted by a source who told Us Weekly that Berk was "asked to leave" due to tension with the cast.

"There were many challenges with scheduling [and] there was a loss of interest from Bobby filming the show," the source, referred to as an "insider," told Us Weekly. "The network and the cast thought it was time to bring in fresh blood. His heart was not in it and the rest of the cast started to resent him because of that."

February 27, 2024: Netflix announces interior designer Jeremiah Brent as Berk's replacement for season 9

Jeremiah Brent is seen at Jeremiah Brent's book "The Space That Keeps You" launch party hosted by Brian and Tracy Robbins on March 2, 2024 in Montecito, California.
Jeremiah Brent is replacing Bobby Berk.Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Brent got his start as celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe's styling associate on "The Rachel Zoe Project" in 2011. He's also been married to famous interior designer Nate Berkus since 2014 and they have two kids.

With Brent's hiring, Netflix announced production on season nine would begin in Las Vegas in the spring.

January 25, 2024: Berk talks to Vanity Fair about he left the show and confirms that there was tension between him and France

Tan France and Bobby Berk on season seven of "Queer Eye."
Tan France and Bobby Berk on season seven of "Queer Eye."Ilana Panich-Linsman/Netflix

Berk's interview with Vanity Fair was conducted days ahead of the release of season eight of "Queer Eye." Berk told the publication that he and his "Queer Eye" costars signed a seven-cycle contract. After the contract ended in September 2022, Berk said he and his costars were ready to move on — but then Netflix renewed the show and offered them a new contract, which everyone signed except him.

Berk said he left because he already had other projects in the works and made his peace with the show.

Berk also responded to speculation that there was beef between him and France, based on his social media activity (Berk unfollowed France on Instagram and didn't noticeably tag him in posts about the group).

"Tan and I had a moment," Berk said. "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."

Berk admitted that his emotions got the better of him and he probably shouldn't have unfollowed his costar.

"We became like siblings — and siblings are always going to fight," Berk said, adding that he was hopeful that he and France would ultimately be "fine."

March 5, 2024: Rolling Stone publishes a bombshell report, detailing behind-the-scenes drama that led to Berk's exit

(L-R) Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness in May 2023.
(L-R) Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness in May 2023.Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Netflix

Rolling Stone spoke to 10 individuals involved in the production of the show and "well-placed sources." Among the surprising details were allegations about hairstylist Van Ness, who is nonbinary.

Three sources described them as emotionally "abusive" and prone to "rage issues." Van Ness was also accused of being unprofessional and "demeaning" to others. According to one source, Van Ness' temper would hit a boiling point at least once a week.

"There was absolutely tension between everybody else, especially from Jonathan Van Ness," a production member told RS. "He didn't want to ever share the spotlight with anyone. There were times when we couldn't even shoot scenes with certain members of the Fab Five together because it got so bad."

According to the exposé, Berk didn't get along with Van Ness and France while filming the most recent season. Beyond having tension, RS reported that France "campaigned" with Porowski to replace Berk with Brent.

March 8, 2024: France addresses the drama on Instagram, referring to Berk's exit as a firing and saying that he had no impact on Brent's casting

France primarily denied that he played a role in Brent's casting on the show, and said the interior designer landed the gig on his own.

"Yes I've heard what's going on," France said in a video posted on Instagram. "And 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."

"Am I so happy that they have the job? Uh-huh. I really am," France continued. "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."

France concluded by attempting to put an end to rampant speculation.

"So from the horse's mouth: I'm telling you, that that's not at all how it went down," he said. "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."

Shortly after France posted his video, Berk seemingly reacted on X and indicated that he was taking the high road amid the drama. He posted a GIF of Michelle Obama saying, "Our motto is: 'When they go low, we go high!'"

Business Insider has reached out to Berk, France, and Netflix, but did not receive an immediate response.

June 26, 2024: Van Ness addresses the allegations of abusive behavior

Van Ness appeared on the "Table Manners" podcast and addressed the allegations of verbally abusive behavior made against them in the Rolling Stone exposé.

They explained were first told about the article in December 2023, shortly after their company, JVN Hair, went bankrupt.

"I went from this bankruptcy. Then, 'Oh, there's someone who's going to write an investigative takedown, exposé piece about you that isn't really based in reality, but can certainly have a lot of things taken out of context to make you look as bad as possible," they said.

"So from January to March, I was walking on eggshells being like, 'When is this going to happen?' And then it finally did happen."

The stylist denied the allegations but said that they have been "stressed out" in the past.

"Even though I do believe that that article was overwhelmingly untrue and done in bad faith, there have obviously been times throughout my career where you're stressed out, or I may have been elbow-deep in highlights and was like, 'No, I can't talk about that right now,'" they said.

Rolling Stone did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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