Three employees of color at a Philadelphia Old Navy have claimed that white workers were brought in to work the store during a Queer Eye taping, while black and brown workers were ordered to stay away from the cameras. Monae Alvarado was first to come forward with her experience, posting on Facebook and later telling news outlets that approximately ten white Old Navy employees from other locations participated in the taping, while employees of color who actually work at the store were forced to stand in the back.
Since Alvarado’s post, two more employees have corroborated her story with Philadelphia magazine. Old Navy responded to the claims, stating that they would “never select employees to participate — or not — based on race. That is completely inaccurate and against the values we stand for as a company.” Meanwhile, a Netflix spokesperson released a statement saying that neither the show’s hosts nor the production team had anything to do with Old Navy’s staffing choices. Tan France, co-host of Queer Eye, responded directly to Alvarado in a comment on her post, writing “I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, or overnight, but what I can tell you is that there [is] no way I would ever have allowed production to move POC [people of color] to the back.”
Queer Eye is shooting its fifth season in Philadelphia, and has been praised in previous seasons for its commitment to diversity and inclusivity.