Wednesday 16 October 2019

Tan France: Queer Eye has helped change conversation about men

The Netflix programme’s fashion expert said the third season is better than ever, and that one episode causes him to cry.

Tan France said Queer Eye has helped change the conversation about men (Christopher Smith/Netflix)
Tan France said Queer Eye has helped change the conversation about men (Christopher Smith/Netflix)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Queer Eye star Tan France has said he believes the programme is helping to “change the conversation” about what it means to be a man across the world.

France, the fashion expert in the Netflix makeover and life overhaul series, said he believes the show has also had an impact in how reality TV programmes are being created.

The programme, a reboot of early 2000s series Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, has been a hit with viewers since it debuted on the streaming service last year.

It features South Yorkshire-born France alongside Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown as a team of five who make over the show’s “heroes”, giving them fashion, grooming, food, interiors and cultural advice in a bid to improve their lives.

Tan France (Netflix)

Speaking ahead of the arrival of the third season, France told the Press Association that he feels the show has had a lasting impact, and is more than just for fun and entertainment.

He said: “I honestly do think that our show has changed the conversation across a lot of the world. And not just regular folks – I think in the industry also.

“The way we are representing men is different, the way reality shows are being produced now is different because of our show.

“People are realising that times are turning, tides are shifting, and we need to accept the fact that men do need emotional support also – they do need to accept the fact that they can’t just brush their emotional issues off and pretend that that’s going to solve their problems.

“They need as much love and attention as their female counterparts, and so I think it’s really important that we try and change that narrative and that men feel like they’ve got the same support that women have and that they need.

“They should feel empowered to be able to talk about the things that are affecting them.”

He added: “The longer we continue to pretend that men don’t have emotions, the problem is going to get worse and worse.

“I love that I’m in a position to be able to help facilitate those stories that men are sharing with the world. I love our show for what it is – it’s a fun entertainment show, but I love being in a position where I can help change the way men communicate.”

The third season of Queer Eye sees the Fab Five head to Kansas City in the Midwest of America for their makeovers, after spending the first two seasons in the Deep South in Atlanta, Georgia.

The programme includes a number of male “heroes”, but also more females than in the first two seasons, as well as the show’s first lesbian and a duo makeover of two sisters.

Antoni Porowski and Tan France (Netflix)

France said the new episodes are “funnier and more emotional” than before, and that he has a rare cry in the episode featuring the two sisters.

He said: “It’s one of my favourite episodes we’ve ever shot – not just because it was very unique, but because these sisters are so charismatic, so personable, and it’s a really funny episode and heartfelt.

“I actually have one of my only cries ever on this show, but they’re happy tears because it’s such a beautiful episode.”

Queer Eye season three is available on Netflix from March 15.

PA Media

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