To give back this year, Brown will host “Karamo’s Christmas Spectacular,” an Instagram Live sponsored by Zelle, Thursday at 4 p.m. PT. During the stream, he will give out three $25,000 cash prizes and talk with special guests.
Ahead of the event, he spoke with Variety about the holidays, quarantine and the future of ‘Queer Eye.’
How did you select winners for the $25,000 cash prizes?
I did deep social media dives on every single person that was submitted. I wanted to see what they’re doing, how are they talking to people in their community, how are they talking to people outside of their community, what kind of impact are they making on themselves, on anybody around them? Those things are really important to me.
Do you have any holiday plans for this abnormal year?
My holiday plans are canceled because I’ve really had to take stock of those who agree with me on the same page of the pandemic. I’m a true believer that if you feel this is a time for you to not take COVID serious, then right now I would love to Zoom with you, have a bake-off with you on camera, but you can’t come in my house. Because of that, I’ve had to cancel my plans. I think 30 percent of Americans are going to be having virtual holidays, and I’m one of those 30 percent.
You mentioned to Woman’s Day that the quarantine allowed you to take stock in your life. What are some of the ways it motivated you toward self-discovery?
One of the things I realized is I need to focus on what makes me happy and take away the guilt or expectations of other people. The pandemic helped me slow down and say, ‘What in my life is not truly making me happy? It’s not hurting me, but it’s not making me happy.’ And I made decisions about how I can put my happiness, and put who I am and what I want, forward. I think that’s a beautiful time for people to reflect during the quarantine on who they are and what they want.
Kind of Marie Kondo-ing it? If it doesn’t spark joy…
Yeah, a complete Marie Kondo. That’s so funny, I didn’t even think of that and I’m on the same damn network. It’s a complete Marie Kondo-ing of my life. If this doesn’t spark joy, time to go.
“Queer Eye” is based around helping people revitalize aspects of their lives, so I’m curious how you expect future seasons to change as the U.S. comes out lockdown.
We’re probably not going to go back until we get the pandemic under control because of the fact that we are a show that is all about connection — hugs. We’re a big hugging group.
Most of us don’t know the PTSD that we’re going to experience after this. There was a six-month span where we were continuously seeing people on our social media feeds die in the street. We’ve seen people’s families be torn apart, we’ve seen people die from coronavirus, these are things that are going to last and stick with us. These are things that, for me, as we go back to ‘Queer Eye,’ I’m able to address that.