Queer Eye‘s Fab Five is getting a little smaller: Bobby Berk is leaving the Netflix host after six years.
Berk, 42, revealed the news to his Instagram followers in a lengthy statement shared on Monday, November 13. “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that season 8 will be my final season on Queer Eye,” he wrote. “It’s not been an easy decision to be at peace with, but a necessary one. Although my journey with Queer Eye is over, my journey with you is not. You will be seeing more of me very soon.”
He added: “I love you all so so much and I’ll meet you all in Nola for one final season. #foreverthefab5.”
Berk addressed his message to “the Queer Eye Community who have become family to me,” writing, “The love that I have received from you all over the last 6 years has been absolutely surreal. You have tuned in and been dedicated fans and together we were able to share the healing powers of design. I learned from you all about kindness, love and acceptance and that has changed my life for the better.”
He continued, “The way you have embraced me and accepted me for who I am is something that I will truly carry with me for the rest of my life,” thanking the “die-hard fans of Queer Eye” for frequently sharing how the show has impacted them. “I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you for being brave enough to share your experiences,” he wrote.
Berk went on to thank the show’s “wonderful, loving, amazing and brave” contestants — a.k.a. heroes — for “letting me into your homes and hearts” throughout the series. “It’s all because of you that I’ve kept going all these years and each and every one of you have changed me for the better,” he gushed. “I’m so very proud of all of you! Being able to help guide you to find the best version of yourselves is something I never took for granted and never will.”
Berk was an original member of the Fab Five when the revamped version of Queer Eye debuted in 2018. He joined Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, many of whom shared heartfelt messages to Berk as he announced his exit.
“#foreverthefab5 indeed, and don’t forget it ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️,” Porowski, 39, wrote in the comments section on Monday.
Brown, 43, added, “@bobby we are #ForeverTheFab5 | no matter what. I’m about to be at Netflix’s door & e-mails telling them you can’t leave! Who is coming with me? 😢😍 I love you!”
Berk took on the design portion of the heroes’ transformations, completing impressive renovations in the blink of an eye. “People always say there’s no way we get those houses done from Tuesday to Friday,” he told Fast Company in 2020. “And the thing is, we do. All the clean-out that you see … that really is done between Tuesday and Friday. The preparation is in order for us to have everything we need to get that accomplished.”
At the time, Berk explained that he often starts the planning process a few weeks before filming begins. “There have been episodes where there was no planning available,” he said. “But usually … my team is usually able to go to the hero’s home beforehand. I don’t meet them, but I at least check out their space and get basic measurements.”
Berk and his collaborators make “a big store” out of a warehouse. “We preorder tons of art and accessories and candles and pillows and bedding … That way, we’re not running around the city the day we’re filming and going to all these different stores,” he said.
Queer Eye returns to Netflix with Berk’s final episodes in January 2024.