'Queer Eye' star recounts his visit to White House

One cast member of Netflix’s hit reboot of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” is opening up about his recent visit with the staff of second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceBiden pays his respects to John Lewis at the Capitol Trump will not visit Capitol to pay respects to civil rights icon John Lewis The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - High-ranking White House official tests positive MORE.

The hosts of the popular reality show, known as the “Fab Five,” spoke about the visit in a video interview with Vulture to promote the show’s second season.

Karamo Brown, the show’s “culture expert,” said he met with Pence's chief of staff at the White House.


“It was phenomenal to be able to go in there and discuss arts,” Brown said. “But also to speak about LGBT issues.”

A spokeswoman for Pence said that that second lady did not personally meet with Brown, nor was she scheduled to, but that he met with two members of her staff. 

Brown told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that he met with "Pence's office and her chief of staff," and that he was "pleasantly surprised" with how the meeting went.

"I was pleasantly surprised by how open and receptive they were," Brown said. "Now, that's not going to turn me into a Republican, but it does give me hope."

The socially conservative Vice President Pence has been sharply criticized from LGBTQ advocates and those on the left.

Brown’s fellow “Fab Five” member, Jonathan Van Ness, interrupted Brown to mock the Pences over Pence’s anti-LGBT views.

“She’s our biggest fan,” Van Ness joked. “She watches it every night … Her and Dad like to watch it every night in their modesty outfits.”

“There’s something about the Pences, I just freak out,” Van Ness said, telling Brown, “She doesn’t like you, girl!”

“She don’t like us,” he added, as fellow cast members Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Bobby Berk laughed.

Brown said that, while he doesn’t know for sure if the second lady watches “Queer Eye,” some of her staffers told him that she enjoyed the show.

“No matter if someone has personal feelings about my sexuality or how they view me,” Brown said, “It’s all of our job to continue to show up in spaces where we can say, ‘You know what? I can figure out how to try to work with you.’ ”

Van Ness also apologized for his comments at the end of the video.

“I’m sorry I made fun of the Pences so much too,” he said. “I’m sure you guys are like, super nice.”

As governor of Indiana, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceOn The Trail: Pence's knives come out Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Students at school system Pence called 'forefront' of reopening now in quarantine MORE signed the 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which activists and the LGBTQ community said could encourage discrimination.

He has also supported a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and has spoken out against hate crime laws.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. Editor's note: An earlier of this version did not make clear that Brown met with Karen Pence's staff, not the second lady herself.