As the “culture expert” on Netflix’s hit series “Queer Eye,” Karamo Brown has a lot of deep conversations. Long before that, though, he was just a kid in Houston, inspired by Ru Paul inspiring people on television. Brown came into Marketplace’s studios in Los Angeles for a conversation with Kai Ryssdal about his career, the show, and his new book, “Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing and Hope.”
“A lot of us learn from other people’s examples,” Brown told Ryssdal. “That’s why shows like “Queer Eye” are so important to us. Because someone living their life shows you a road map of what you can do.”
Brown got his start in reality television on a different show, “The Real World: Philadelphia,” in 2004. Ryssdal asked him about reality TV’s contribution to the fractured nature of society. “I was on a reality show, 15 years ago, where I added to that fractured nature, where I was all about the arguments and no solutions,” Brown said.
“And I then took a 12-year break — let’s be clear about that — where I worked on myself, I went back to being in my career, and I made the decision to come back to television. I decided I can’t go back into this space where I’m adding to the division that we’re feeling in our country. And so it was an intentional choice to make sure that if I was going to be back in TV, that I was going to do things that were going to somehow try to heal and help us to grow.”
Watch his entire conversation with Marketplace host, Kai Ryssdal, here:
You can also watch Brown take the “Marketplace Quiz” — and find out why he says everybody needs the perfect bomber jacket — here:
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.