Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Media Informs Us That Gabby Sidibe is Mean…And FAT.

So apparently Gabourey Sidibe, who played the title character in the movie "Precious" and most recently hosted Saturday Night Live, isn't as sweet and charming as we've been led to believe. Or, at least that's what the Washington Post and Media Bistro are saying.

On May 1st, Media Bistro's FishBowl DC used the headline "Gabby Sidibe: Not So Precious" and the below sternish photo in a short post about Gabby's apparently mistreatment of fans. Matt Dornic for FishBowl writes:

Photo Courtesy of Media Bistro
"When asked for a picture, the less-than-enthused newbie star could barely crack a smile. One photo-seeking fan said jokingly, "that's all you're going to give me," to the pouty Precious. Gabby responded, "you'll get what I give you.""

Yikes. That's certainly not nice.

Yesterday, Dornic followed up his original post about Sidibe by noting that The Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capeheart had his own uncomfortable experience with Sidibe at the recent White House Correspodent's Dinner. Capehart writes:

"Y'all know how much I loved the powerful film from director Lee Daniels about an obese New York City teenager enduring unspeakable abuse at the hands of her parents. After Oscar night, I wrote, "I was rooting for Gabourey Sidibe for best actress. But the moment edgy comedienne Mo'Nique won the Oscar for supporting actress, I knew that the divine Sidibe was toast." But after meeting Sidibe at the White House Correspondents dinner and hearing about others' negative encounters with her, I'm putting down my pompoms.

I was thrilled to spot her at a table laughing uproariously with the man sitting to her right. "I know you're having a good time and I'm sorry to interrupt," I began. My next sentence didn't come out because Sidibe shouted over the din, "Yeah, come back in five minutes!" Thinking she was joking, I laughed and pretended to walk away. When I noticed that the look in her eyes meant she was serious, I walked back to her and said, "I just wanted to congratulate you on your nomination. I thought your performance was spectacular. I even wrote a column about it." After wishing her good luck, I rejoined my friends."


Capehart goes on to recount two other stories in which Gabby loses more enthusiastic fans due to her diva'ish behavior.

Obviously these reports of Gabby being ridiculously unkind for no reason are disturbing. But what stuck out to me was the fact that both posts carried some sort of strange reference to Gabby's weight.

The first line of the first Media Bistro post was "So, who was the weekend's biggest (no pun intended) disappointment so far?"

The first line of 2nd Media Bistro post was: "Wow! FishbowlDC wasn't alone when we gave "Precious" star Gabby Sidibe a GIGANTIC (no pun intended...okay, that's a lie) thumbs down."


Maybe I'm being sensitive here. But is it totally okay to make fun of her weight just because there have been reports that she has a bad attitude? I'm trying to think of something to compare this to but I'm at a loss.

The Capehart post ended on an odd and possibly weight-related note as well. At the end of Capehart's post, he mentioned that he met Queen Latifah at the BET Honors awards back in January and expected "to get the Sidibe treatment." He goes on to say Latifah was perfectly nice and appreciates her fans unlike Gabby (I'm paraphrasing).

But why make the comparison to Queen Latifah? Because they are both black and plus sized? Is there some correlation here that I'm not aware of? Is Capehart just a HUGE (umm am I doing it too? pause?) Queen Latifah fan and wanted to shout her out?

I'm not normally super sensitive about certain things but these two posts got me riled up a bit. I'm curious about what others think. Earlier this year, Erica Kennedy noted the boiling-underneath-the-service discomfort the industry has with Gabby's size.  Could the door now be open for all the fat jokes we never wanted to hear?


ChiChi said...

I can see it. Just like people were constantly talking about her size when she was getting all that attention for the movie as if she should be so lucky...with her being that size, you know. *Eye roll* How DARE she have self esteem! Or in this case, how DARE she not be the happy fat girl.

S said...

First of all we don't even know the context for her "meanness." I've seen Artist/Actors/Celebrities mauled by a group of fans and when they react *gasp* in a not so nice manner the media eviscerates them.

It's not Gabby's job to be nice to you. Maybe her dog died. Maybe her agent called her and told her she lost a job. Maybe she had a fight with a boyfriend or lover. When did people become SO SENSITIVE. Her behavior doesn't even constitute "Diva" behavior. Please.

As for the fat jokes, I've been waiting for them to start rolling in. Everyone was quick to jump on Howard Stern for his vulgar and mean-spirited attempted take down of Gabby, but it seems that many members of the media were thinking the same thing. They just didn't have the guts to say it.
Eventually the truth comes out, sadly.

JD said...

@ChiChi I never thought about the "happy fat girl" angle. So true! And now that I think about it, the Queen Latifah comparison makes me even more angry! Also celebrities are bitches all the time, yet very few media outlets refer to their coke habit or plastic surgery, so why refer to Gabby's "health problem." @S I agree re: context. Between the two articles, they cited a total of 5 incidents...so it makes me curious, I wonder if more outlets will report similar stories. I feel like if she goes on not to work in hollywood again people may try to blame her attitude rather than her weight.

Anonymous said...

I want to believe the Queen comparison is to say here's someone who has been in the business for 15 years in so many capacities. And she is classy and kind. Yet you have Gabby who just got a cup of coffee in the business and she is being extra rude.

Erika said...

Her cup of coffee got her an Oscar nomination. Latifah got it like that?

That's not only a gigantic cup of coffee, it's imported from thousands of miles away and came complete with it's own foreign barista-dude to stir and hold it for her as she sips from it. Stop demeaning what she was able to do.

The media begrudgingly paid her any attention in the first place. 'Cause who wants to pay attention to "the fat Black girl?" The fact that Gabby isn't all bow down and bend over thankful that they ARE paying her any attention has the press all up in their feelings.

Mind you, I know how the media works and I acknowledge that her decision to remind the media that they "ain't nobody" is undoubtedly shooting herself in the foot. But I also think the media has this sense of entitlement to all things everybody just because they can, with the click of a button, piss all over someone's name. Almost like there's abuse of power on both sides, there.

What I really want is for her to get some good PR coaching, and then "try again." But I'm not about to cheer on the media's green light to treat her like crap just because she's not groveling for the attention they didn't want to give her from the giddyup.

Anonymous said...

i'm extra pissed about the queen latifah comparison. why do white columnists think that any two black people are comparable on any damn level?! but i don't care about the fat jokes, and i hope gabby doesnt. she knew people would be gunning for her and what prevented them from doing so was how nice and personable she seemed. if she's an asshole, she better put on her big girl draws and suck it up. no one else would get a pass for being an asshole to their fans. other celebrities ARE judged for being assholes to their fans and made fun of. you're in the public eye, gabby knew what she signed up for. so far, she seems like she can handle it, asshole or not. i think it would be patronizing to expect special treatment for her because she is obese. celebrities are made fun of all the time for their weight gain even when it's minuscule. why should we expect different from gabby? she's a smart girl- she knew the bubble protecting her was her niceness. she (may have) chose to bust that bubble and that's respectable in my opinion. she's free to be the asshole she is while realizing she's going to take it on the chin.

A.Smith said...

It rubs you the wrong way (the reference to her weight) because it is messed up.

Let's face it, in the back of folks minds, especially if they've had an encounter with her that is less than expected, they think "this fat b*tch should be HAPPY anybody is interested in her..."

It's unfair, but Gabby should be careful, because they've been looking for something to trip her up with and she won't be able to shake such a reputation as easily as others.

JD said...

Love these comments. Surprisingly the reporter that made the Queen Latifah comparison is black! But that doesn't mean there isn't a bias there that caused him to make such a weird comparison. Yes Latifah is a professional...but is she the only down to earth star he's met? And how is that a comparison give the fact that Latifah is known for being nice?

@Erika totally agree that she's shooting herself in the foot, also agree that she should get some training...the media isn't going to let her slide on much.

Anonymous said...

Comments about her weight are WHY she has a bad attitude.
I've noticed that most people approach her with this "just be happy we are talking to someone like you" attitude.
TMZ has a video up now saying she's a diva because she gave some flowers back.
What they failed to notice is that the person that gave her the flowers said "What do you perfer we call you Gabby or Precious"
He was making fun of her.
She is not Precious and if you can't respect her enough to call her by her name then she doesnt need to give you any type of respect either.

JD said...

hmm Never thought about the fact that the rudeness from others may have inspired her attitude. I will tell you what, I HATE when people call her Precious. We should start calling Julia Robert Erin Roberts. Like, seriously. Let this girl be an individual!