Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness Accused Of Toxic Behaviour On Set In Bombshell Report


Buckle up, baby, the Queer Eye drama continues! A new bombshell report has cited several insider sources, claiming that Fab Five aren’t the tight-knit best buds that they’ve made themselves out to be. But that only skims the surface, with insiders alleging that fights for screen time, growing tension and the behind-the-scenes antics of Jonathan Van Ness, in particular, led to the fallout that we’ve seen happen today.

The report — published by Rolling Stone — contains a hefty dose of tea. So, without further ado, here are the three big takeaways we got from the juicy article.

Jonathan Van Ness was a nightmare to work with

According to the Rolling Stone piece, beloved cast member Jonathan Van Ness was terrible to work with, a huge departure from their bubbly on-screen persona. Four Queer Eye production sources and three insiders who worked with Van Ness spoke to their behaviour, labelling them as emotionally “abusive” and claiming they had “rage issues”.

All seven sources allege that they saw the hairstylist lash out at their co-stars and crew members on set, and alleged that their behaviour made other members of the Fab Five hesitant to film scenes with them.

“[There’s] a real emotion of fear around them when they get angry,” one source told Rolling Stone.

“It’s almost like a cartoon where it oozes out of them. It’s intense and scary.”

(Image: Getty)

Another source claimed Van Ness’ on-screen persona was a farce.

“Jonathan’s a person who contains multitudes and who has the capacity to be very warm, very charismatic, and has the capacity to make you feel really special that they are paying attention to you,” an insider said.

“But at least once a day, they would need to yell at somebody. It might be something small, but there’s always going to be somebody to point out and blame and make the villain of the day.” 

This charade was also referenced by another source who claimed that what Van Ness stood for publicly was at odds with what they showed on set.

 “They’re really centred around having this warmth, love, and care for other people,” they claimed.

“There’s a real contrast between that and the way that they treat the people who are closest to them across the board. It’s the opposite of what this person is touted and paid to be.” 

According to Rolling Stone, Van Ness had at least one meeting with Netflix over their behaviour towards the crew. Van Ness has not commented on these allegations.

(Image: Queer Eye )

The Fab Five weren’t best friends

The Fab Five’s origin story has been told in countless interviews as they skyrocketed to Netflix fame. You know, the one where they were selected after they got along like a house on fire at casting. However, after eight seasons, “well-placed” insiders claim that their relationship was a working one, at best.

“It’s not a new story that a boy band falls apart,” a production member said, amongst jokes that Bobby is the Zayn Malik of the group.

“Essentially they were a group of people put together in their mid-thirties and told to be best friends. But people don’t expect that Queer Eye could be that. That’s truly what it was: a manufactured boy band with big personalities that certain ones were favoured and certain ones were not, and then eventually turned really toxic.”

 This perspective was backed up by another production member who really didn’t hold back.

“How is it not obvious to everybody that none of these people are friends?” they said.

“None of them. They don’t hang out socially. They live very different lives.” 

(Image: Getty)

While they kept up their friendship premise, behind-the-scenes issues stemmed from how much screen time each member was getting on the show.

As the fan favourite, Van Ness seemed to receive the most screen time. On the flip side, Berk had such minimal scenes that it became a tongue-in-cheek joke that he’d do the most work and only be seen for a few minutes during each episode’s renovation reveal.

“There was absolutely tension between everybody else, especially from Jonathan Van Ness,” said another production staffer.

“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.” 

(Image: Netflix)

Tan France and Antoni Porowski wanted Bobby Berk to leave

In November 2023, Bobby confirmed that he was leaving the show after eight seasons. Naturally, fans were devastated.

In a tell-all interview with Vanity Fair, Bobby explained that the Fab Five’s contracts were due to end after Season Eight so the group said their goodbyes and began to plan other projects. However, after the WAG and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Netflix had a big gap in their programming, offering the Fab Five the opportunity to renew their contracts.

Bobby explained that he declined, excited to move on to new projects, but the rest of the gang remained.

However, sources speaking to Rolling Stone allege that there was more to the story and that Bobby was “blindsided” by the contract talks. Plus, two production sources claimed that Tan France actively campaigned — allegedly with Antoni Porowski’s support — to replace Berk with their friend and interior designer Jeremiah Brent.

As it happens, Brent was announced as Berk’s replacement in the Fab Five last week.

OoooOoOOoft. Talk about some TEA!

There you have it! So far, none of the Fab Five members have commented on the bombshell article. But, if it’s got you in the mood to watch some Queer Eye, you can find all eight seasons on Netflix.