Netflix’s Queer Eye returned for Season 8 on Jan. 24. During this installment, which will be Bobby Berk’s last season, the Fab Five returned to New Orleans, La. where they worked their makeover magic for a former nun, a major Kiss stan, and the football coach for the Louisiana School for the Deaf, among others. They also worked with renowned jazz clarinetist Doreen Ketchens, who was nominated for the show by her daughter Dorian.
Doreen, who garners musical inspiration from Louis Armstrong, can be found filling the French Quarter with beautiful music. Starting her career busking the streets, she's won numerous awards for her eclectic style and has been featured on HBO's Treme, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and CBS Sunday Morning — to name a few.
But besides her musical prowess, Doreen is also an exceptional baker. Her mother, Anna May, owned and operated local candy store, Doreen's Sweet Shop, which was open for 35 years.
In 2002, Doreen bought the shop to continue her mom’s legacy, but it wasn’t long after that Hurricane Katrina hit and the storefront was left in ruins. At the time, Doreen didn't have the funds or time to take on the business but always longed to return to it.
During the Fab Five's week with Doreen, they gave her wardrobe and style a fun facelift, completely rehabilitated Doreen's Sweet Shop, and reminded the "Clairnet Queen" just how important she is to the community.
In fact, Doreen was all smiles and even shed a few tears after the reveal of her refurbished candy store. She seemed excited to embark on this new chapter of her life as a business owner and even had a new puff pastry recipe in the queue. But apparently, her time on Queer Eye may not have been as sweet as it was portrayed in the episode.
Doreen Ketchens claims that her and her husband's "property was stolen or damaged" by the 'Queer Eye' production team.
In early January 2024, Doreen posted a statement on Instagram (@doreensjazzneworleans) accusing the Queer Eye production team and Netflix of theft and property damage.
"Shame on Queer Eye and Netflix," the post began. It went on to explain that in the episode that featured Doreen, "a substantial amount of her and her husband's property was stolen or damaged."
It continued: "The producers have failed to accept responsibility for these losses — but are happy to exploit Ms. Ketchens for their own profit. Shameful."
Given that the post was written in the third person, it's unclear if Doreen was the author. Nonetheless, the post has since been deleted from her account, but a screenshot of it has been making the rounds on Reddit.
Conversation broke out about Doreen's alleged situation in the Queer Eye subreddit, where one user noted that cast member Bobby Berk, who focuses on client's property makeovers, left a comment for Doreen before the post was deleted.
It read: "Can you please DM me the details so I can see if I can help. Don't have much to do with the show anymore, but will do what I can to help," he wrote followed by a heart emoji.
Given that the post was quickly deleted, it's unknown if Doreen interacted with Bobby's comment or if she reached out to him regarding her accusations.
That said, other users on Reddit shared their thoughts regarding Doreen's claim, noting that usually heroes receive a home makeover, but she received a makeover of Doreen's Sweet Shop. With that in mind, it was unclear of Doreen was accusing the production team of damaging property in her home or inside the shop.
One user wrote: "It could really be anything. Even bringing in equipment to film the show could have damaged Ms. Ketchens’ home and/or belongings."
Another said: "Was it part of clearing out old junk that they do sometimes? And now the junk is stolen property?"
Regardless of the confusion, many also expressed sympathy for the jazz legend and hoped her situation was remedied. "Doreen is an absolute gem!!! So disappointing to hear this! I’m hoping there’s a way to support her covering the damages/loss if the show doesn’t step up," read a third comment.
Is Doreen's Sweet Shop in New Orleans open?
At the end of the Fab Five's week with Doreen, it appeared that Doreen's Sweet Shop was ready to open for business. But if you search for the shop online, there is very little information available, making it seem unlikely that the shop ever officially opened. Or if it did open, it has since closed. The shop's address is currently unknown.
Could Doreen's claim of stolen and damaged property be linked to the shop's lack of online presence? It's possible.
It's also possible that Doreen is struggling to find time to fit a brand-new business into her schedule and needs more time before taking it on.
That said, now would be a great time for Doreen to open the shop as the episode likely generated a lot of positive publicity for it. Yet information surrounding Doreen's Sweet Shop remains a mystery.
Furthermore, it's worth noting that Doreen didn't promote her appearance on Queer Eye at all on social media, which could suggest that she and Netflix are still not on the best of terms.