Even without taking home Best Actress, Gabourey Sidibe's appearance and glowing tribute from Oprah were her most visible moment to date. You know what that means: Bring on the hate and faux-concern.
Howard Stern managed to exceed even the lowest expectations of his shit-talking and calculated hatred. Chatting yesterday with Robin Quivers — a black woman who famously lost 70 lbs with extreme dieting, including the Master Cleanse — they mocked Sidibe's weight, snickered at the suggestion that she's nothing like her character from Precious and dismissed any suggestion that she might have a career beyond that film. Stern suggested she star in a sequel to The Blind Side: "She can take out the whole front line," he said.
To add insult to injury, they screwed up her name in multiple ways. Some choice excerpts:
Howard Stern: You just want to say to her, listen honey, now you got a little money in the bank, go get yourself thin, you're gonna die in like three years.
Robin Quivers: Yeah, you're sick, this is a terrible thing you've done to yourself and it could only lead to bad things....
RQ: Plus it was almost like they had to sit her in the aisle because they didn't have a chair thatshe could fit in...
HS: Looks like she took up two chairs...
RQ: And Oprah's lying and saying you're going to have a brilliant career.
HS: Oprah's another liar, a filthy liar... She's telling an enormous woman the size of a planet that she's going to have a career.
Oprah, by the way, recently told People, "I saw myself in her." Sidibe didn't know that Oprah would be introducing her and, when asked what it meant to her, said, ""It means that I just might be a movie star." (In the meantime, she's signed on for a recurring guest role on The Big C, the Showtime show she filmed a pilot for last year.)
On PopEater, Rob Shuter raised a similar question, albeit in a less cruel fashion:
"I'm not saying it's correct, but it's a simple fact that she will have to lose a lot of weight if she wants to keep getting parts," one casting director told me. "The same thing happened to Nikki Blonsky from 'Hairspray.' Everyone said how great she was, and she hasn't worked since."
And although friends of Gabby say she hasn't felt any pressure, they also note that parts aren't exactly flying in either. Shame on you, Hollywood.
Stern, Quivers, and the anonymous insiders aren't wrong that Hollywood traditionally has little time for large black women — we wondered about Sidibe's future in the industry and canvassed casting directors (on the record) about it back in December. Except they all seem oblivious to the fact that not only does it not have to be that way, but they're part of the problem.