A Queer Eye Alum Quietly Dissed the Reboot, & We Smell Drama
Uh-oh! Although Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot has been met with nearly universal praise since premiering, it would seem one key person isn’t entirely on board. In an interview with Variety this week, original Fab Five member Carson Kressley made a subtle dig at the reboot.
Speaking to the outlet at NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles to celebrate the upcoming 70th Emmys, Kressley waxed nostalgic. “Are we 70 already?” he joked of the anniversary. “Gosh, I remember the first one like it was yesterday.”
The RuPaul’s Drag Race judge was also quick to give his creative medium a shoutout, saying, “We’re so lucky to work in TV. It’s really having a renaissance right now and so inclusive and diverse.” Where Kressley was less inclined to give credit, though, was to the Netflix revival.
“I’m thrilled that they’re nominated, but it was a little more groundbreaking back when we won an Emmy in 2004,” he said of the original series’ 2004 win (and 2005 nomination).
While that was definitely shade being thrown by Kressley, he’s not without a point. When the original Queer Eye debuted in 2003, it was hailed for its progressive premise. The original Fab Five — Kressley, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia and Jai Rodriguez — were dubbed the “greatest gay success stories” of the year by Out magazine. Thanks to the boundaries they broke and their mass popularity, the first Fab Five paved the way for more LGBTQ-inclusive programming.
Of course, that’s not to say that the importance of the Netflix series’ nomination should be downplayed. The practically instant likability and success of the new series serve as a testament to how far representation for the LGBTQ community has come on television.
The new Fab Five certainly seems to be aware of the cultural and personal significance of their predecessors. “That show, it was so important for me. Like, being on a river in, like, the middle of America to see that show… it was really important,” Queer Eye’s new grooming expert, Van Ness, told ET in February. “It’s definitely big shoes to step into because any time you’re coming back into something… this was such a beloved show and… it’s just such big shoes to fill.”
Kressley's fans obviously agree, going so far as to say that the OG fashion expert is irreplaceable.
"The new Queer Eye sorely misses Carson," one such fan commented on Variety's coverage. "They should have carried him through to the new version and made the show better than the poor knockoff it is now. Emmy nom or not, it’s just not Queer Eye without Carson. It would be like doing a Will and Grace Reboot without Karen."
Regardless, at least there's enough Emmys love to go around. After all, Kressley stands to add another to his collection — RuPaul's Drag Race has also been nominated this year.