Actor Shannon Purser has said she thinks Hollywood won’t give big roles to ‘fat actors’ - who she believes aren’t allowed ‘upward mobility’ in the industry.
Purser, 24, is most well-known for starring as Barb in popular sci-fi series Stranger Things, before going on to feature in the likes of Sierra Burgess is a Loser and Riverdale.
However, despite appearing in some of the biggest titles in teen TV and film, the actor believes the industry doesn't hire 'fat' stars for 'iconic fat characters' as execs would rather go for a popular name.
Purser tweeted: “They’re not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star. There are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility.
“We aren’t allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces."
they’re not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star. there are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility. we aren’t allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces.— Shannon (@shannonpurser) June 20, 2022
Purser's tweet attracted hundreds of likes, and also instigated a conversation about the matter in the comments - with many agreeing with the star.
"Preach!" one person wrote, with another saying: "Ding ding ding ding ding."
Weighing in on the debate, someone else commented: "It makes me sad too, because there are a lot of talented fat actors, and we are fine playing villains, because we want diverse and complex roles on par with those who fit societal standards, as long as we stop being typecasted in roles that are negative BECAUSE we are fat."
One other Twitter user said: "Or they lose the weight and the same people who bullied them for being fat are mad that they can't play the fat funny friend on TV anymore."
Recently, the casting of Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchball in the new Netflix Matilda film also came under fire as it required the actor to don a fat suit to bulk up for the role.
I wonder if the studio forgot that in Matilda (1996) Miss Trunchbull was an Olympian (1972, shot putter, hammer, and javelin thrower). She was tall, built, thick,, why on earth would they go with a skinny woman in a fat suit??— Saige (@plantwiser) June 21, 2022
Writing about the topic for the Metro, columnist Emmie Harrison-West said seeing the image of Thompson as the terrifying headmaster reminded her of the ‘shame of being picked last in PE’.
“Fat suits have been so normalised that some people probably haven’t even noticed – and that is what is so frustrating,” she wrote.
Harrison-West also pointed out that this isn’t the first time the 63-year-old has worn a body-altering costume, having done so previously when playing Karen in Love Actually.
Speaking about 2003 rom-com, Harrison-West said: “You know, the presumably size 16, ‘frumpy’, comfortable-shoe-and-floor-length-skirt-wearing middle-aged wife that was inevitably cheated on?"
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