Bobby Berk on the day he got fired on a ‘Queer Eye’ shoot — and how it came full circle

Former Queer Eye co-host Bobby Berk has posted a sweet video to his Instagram in which he recalls losing his job on the day of a Queer Eye shoot.

However, it’s probably not what you’re thinking. Although Berk announced in November that the latest season of the Netflix show would be his last, this story dates back to the original Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, which ran for five seasons from 2003.

Berk revealed that at the time, he was working in a branch of Restoration Hardware. He was very excited to learn that the Queer Eye team were coming to his store to shoot a small segment for the show.

He says that the day before, “It was my job as the design manager to make sure the store looked perfect. My team and I, we were working on the store. We were supposed to leave at 8pm, but you know, being the Virgo perfectionist that I am, we were there until like 2 in the morning.

“The next day I come in at around like noon or 1. And Thom Filicia’s already in there filming, and I’m just like ‘Oh my God, I’m such a big fan!’”

Clocking out

Berk says he went to clock in and then realized he and his team had forgotten to clock out the night before.

“The general manager had just looked at when we were supposed to leave, which was 8, and just clocked us all out at 8.

“So I was like, ‘Oh, let me fix this’. I went in and fixed everybody’s time and I fixed my own as well.”

Berk realized quickly that this action was a “Big no-no.”

“This manager who wanted my position found out I did that. And she went and tattled on me,” Berk continued.

He says the General Manager, Calista, then had to fire him.

“Full freaking circle. I get fired while the original guy building Queer Eye is there. And here I am now, the new Queer Eye guy. No, a former Queer Eye guy, but hey, who’s counting.

“The moral of the story is, sometimes things seem like they were really bad. But, when I got cast on Queer Eye, Miss Calista reached out to me and she was like, ‘Aren’t you glad I fired you?’ And I am, because if she hadn’t, who knows? I might still be working at Restoration Hardware.”

Watch below.

Berk’s decision to leave ‘Queer Eye’

Berk shocked Queer Eye fans when he announced in November that he was leaving the show. In an interview with Vanity Fair in January, he went into more details.

He says when Queer Eye first aired, he and the other experts signed a seven-season contract which expired at the end of 2022. At the time, they’d just shot two seasons back-to-back in New Orleans.

Berk truly believed that would be the end of Queer Eye.

“We thought we were done. Mentally and emotionally, I thought we all moved on. I know I did, and I started planning other things.”

However, in early 2023, he says Netflix unexpectedly renewed the show. He says the writers’ and actors’ strike in Hollywood meant the streamer faced a lack of new content. It offered the Fab Five contracts committing them to another four seasons.

Berk says he knew other members of the team were already throwing themselves into other projects and indicated they were unlikely to sign. Berk, therefore, says he still felt the show was over.

“We’d just assumed that the show wouldn’t come back if we all didn’t come back,” he says. “I was like, I’m not going to be having FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] ’cause the show is not going to happen. I had become at peace with it.”


However, he says that shortly before the deadline to sign the contract, some people changed their minds. All four of his fellow co-presenters decided to commit.

“And with only one of us not coming back, Netflix felt [it] could recast one person,” he says.

“There were definitely emotions. But each one of us had our reasons why we did what we did,” Berk says. “I can’t be mad—for a second I was.”

However, he says he had mentally prepared himself to move on and had already started on other projects. He didn’t want to abandon or postpone those projects.

Jeremiah Brent

Yesterday, Rolling Stone published a lengthy article further exploring Berk’s departure and revealing alleged tensions on the set of Queer Eye. Insiders largely confirmed Berk’s comments about many of those involved believing the show was finishing after season eight.

Netflix recently announced interior designer Jeremiah Brent will replace Berk for the next season of Queer Eye, which will be set in Las Vegas.

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