Queer Eye hosts on that captivating scene with Wesley's shooter that almost didn't happen
The Fab 5 — Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness — talk all things Queer Eye in a 92Y panel.
Season 5 of Queer Eye debuted at a time very different from seasons past — a few months after the pandemic forced people across the country into quarantine and self-isolation, and just a few weeks after the killing of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice. While the Emmy-winning Netflix series has always been one that celebrates our differences and promotes acceptance and growth, those messages have never been needed more.
The show's Fab 5 — Bobby Berk (Interior Design), Karamo Brown (Culture), Tan France (Fashion), Antoni Porowski (Food & Wine), and Jonathan Van Ness (Grooming) — heard from fans who were looking for positive messages, as they explain in a conversation with 92Y & Entertainment Weekly. In EW's excerpts of the panel, available now on 92Y's YouTube channel, the hosts talk about how they're amplifying Black voices, some standout moments from seasons 4 and 5, and more.
One of those unforgettable moments was with season 4 hero Wesley. Paralyzed from the waist down after being shot multiples times in the abdomen several years ago, he met with Maurice, the man who shot him, at the encouragement of Karamo, who saw an opportunity for Wesley to get closure on that day and be able to move on. But it almost didn't happen, for a variety of reasons, as Karamo explains in the video above.
"What people don't know is that...Maurice, who was the shooter, had given me a call and said that he was not willing to do this — he thought it was a setup, he thought we were trying to ambush him. He had never seen Queer Eye, so he didn't understand," Karamo explains, adding that he and executive producer Rachelle Mendez were able to talk Maurice into staying. "But as we were pulling up [to the restaurant], Wesley literally said, 'I do not want to do this. I feel scared, I feel uncomfortable, and I can't do this.'"
After talking with Wesley about his fears, he, of course, went ahead with the meeting, as seen in the captivating and powerful moment, one that has had a lasting effect on Wesley and Maurice, but also told a bigger story. "It was very important for people who only hear about crimes between African Americans and who don't understand how, systemically, that plays into it, where they say 'Oh, Black people are more violent to Black people,' which is actually not the case and not the statistic," he says. "These were two young men who were misguided. It could have been any race, it could have been any person, but these two young men — because of systemic issues — without even knowing each other, thought that the other was going to hurt them, so they both tried to hurt the other person first, sort of out of survival of the fittest. And what we [see] now, and what has continued, is that they're helping each other. They're actually working together to do work in their communities. I thought it was a really beautiful moment and I'm just glad the world got to see."
Elsewhere, the Fab 5 talk more about how they working together behind the scenes to shape everything they do with each hero, and how their respective skills help them as hosts in the reality TV space (as seen below).
And while there are plenty of tears shed while watching the show, there are also a lot of laughs, even some moments that take the Fab 5 by surprise. Like the day Jonathan became friends with Olympic silver and bronze medalist Michelle Kwan, who gave season 4 hero John Stoner's ice-skating daughter some pro tips. It's a day Jonathan will never forget, as he explains in the video below.
Catch all of the hosts talk about the past two seasons of the show in 92Y & Entertainment Weekly's conversation with Queer Eye's Fab 5, available now.
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