Queer Eye's breakout star Karamo Brown — along with other Hollywood actors and personalities — met with White House officials recently to discuss the importance of arts funding, and one of his meetings was with the Second Lady's chief of staff.
Brown discussed the late April meeting in positive terms, according to a Vulture video featuring the Queer Eye cast. Brown said he not only lobbied for arts funding with Karen Pence's chief of staff, Jana Toner, but for LGBT issues.
In the Vulture clip, Queer Eye castmember Jonathan Van Ness appeared disturbed by the meeting. Van Ness repeatedly interrupted Brown to criticize the Pences. At one point, Van Ness said to Brown, "She doesn’t like you girl. She don’t like us."
Pence is the wife of the notoriously antigay vice president Mike Pence, who believes same-sex marriage will lead to "societal collapse" and, as Indiana governor, signed an anti-LGBT "religious freedom" bill into law (later amended after public outcry). Karen Pence is the "force" behind many of her husband's homophobic and transphobic policies, according to The Washington Post.
Brown also recorded an Instagram video about his meeting with Karen Pence's office, saying it was important to speak to Democrats and Republicans about the importance of arts funding.
Friends, #AsACulture we have all allowed politicians to politicize art... that’s why I’m here in DC working w/ @thecreativecoalition meeting with republican & Democrat members of the Senate to advocate for an increase in the funding of the arts. Think about how the arts and the opportunity to be creative enriched your personal life. Now think about the towns that don’t have access to art, because funding creativity & curiosity is being debated by our government. That why I’m here working and hope you will support me by liking or sharing this post. #RightToBearArts