Old Navy has some explaining to do. It looks like the retailer pushed their sales clerks of color to the back for a reality show clip.
Vulture is reporting that the clothing brand played a shell game with some of their employees to spotlight their whiteness. The story goes that one of their Philadelphia location was scheduled to be featured on an upcoming episode of Queer Eye. On the day of the taping management allegedly instructed their Black and Brown staff to the backrooms. In their place where Caucasians that were bused in from other stores.
Monae Alvarado was the first employee to break the story her Facebook account. “So they were filming Queer eye (not queer as folk) at my job (Old Navy in Center City Philadelphia) and at my job is nothing but people of color. Today they brought all these workers from other store around the region (West Chester, Mount Pocono, and Deptford NJ) and they were all white. They had us standing in the back not to be seen while the other workers from another store get to work on our floor like it’s their store” she wrote.
Since then several other employees from the Center City shop voiced the similar concerns that aligned with Alvarado’s original claim. Naturally the story caught fire online forcing Old Navy to respond to the discriminatory vibes saying in a formal statement they would “. That is completely inaccurate and against the values we stand for as a company.”
Netflix has also denied any culpability saying Queer Eye’s production team did not have any hand in selecting which clerks would appear on the episode in question. Tan France, co-host of Queer Eye, responded directly to Alvarado’s Facebook post saying “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.”
It is unclear if Netflix plans to still broadcast the episode. The fifth season of Queer Eye, which is being filmed in Philadelphia, is set to premiere this winter.
Photo: Noam Galai