Last night Gabourey Sidibe appeared on Bravo and was asked by Andy Cohen what celebrity had she met that she was disappointed after meeting. Sidibe said Joan Kusak because when she told Kusak that she was an actress Kusak advised her to get out of the business. Kusak said that Hollywood was too “image conscious”. If you have seen Kusak it suffices to say she is no Halle Berry, but she has managed to achieve a modicum of success so why would she attempt to discourage another unconventional actress? After the success of Precious I wondered what kinds of roles would Sidibe find, but she has managed to find other roles so in spite of being advised by Kusak to quit before she even got the part in Precious, Sidibe has managed to defy conventional wisdom. It is just sad that one woman would decide it was her role to crush the dreams of another one. http://www.bravotv.com/video/share/18327634
Tag Archives: Gabourey Sidibe
Gabourey Sidibe is one of four actresses featured on the 25th Anniversay issue of Elle magaine. The other actresses are shown full length but Sidibe is cropped at the waist. The other noticeable thing is Sidibe’s skin is obviously lightened. We know magazine’s re-touch but is this going a little too far? The actress said she has no problem with the cover but tell me what you think. Is this a problem?
Over the weekend I read a Huffington Post article about Gabourey Sidibe. Washington Post political columnist, Jonathan Capehart recalled how the newbie star dissed him at the White House Correspondents Dinner last week. He approached her and she told him to come back in 5 minutes. He initially thought she was kidding, but he retreated and exercised his free speech as he lambasted her for her behavior in his political column. She gave a riveting performance and she has been riding high this year. Her ego has probably expanded but was it fair for Capehart to put her behavior on blast? Would he have written an article like this if he had been rebuffed by Halle Berry? Read it and tell me what you think: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/05/precious_little_time_–_or_gra.html#more
A few days ago shock jock Howard Stern criticized Gabourey Sidibe. He talked about her weight and the fact that she would not have a future in Hollywood. He along with his co-host Robin Quivers were brutal, the fact is Sidibe is morbidly obese. It seemed that throughout the awards season no one mentioned the size of Sidibe. They seemed like that all had received a memo and the subject was taboo, but now the issue is being discussed. Sidibe’s mother appeared on Good Morning America and she was furious at what Stern had said. Today the ladies of The View took exception to his assessment, and said while it will be more difficult for her to find roles her incredible talent will open doors for her. Whoopi Goldberg read a quote from a Hollywood insider that said “Hollywood will have to think creatively to find roles for her”. When did Hollywood start thinking creatively to find roles for anyone? They don’t have to. They write a part and look for someone who fits their vision and the reality is there will not be a lot of roles for her. Yes she does seem like a confident young woman but somebody needs to offer some tough love. She is too big. The View women proceeded to make comparisions between Sidibe , Oprah Winfrey and Queen Latifah. Winfrey and the Queen are full figured, but Sidibe is morbidly obese and there is a difference. In an earlier post I said full figured women should be celebrated and one of the readers took me to task and rightfully so. Sidibe is not full figured she needs to lose weight not just to extend her career, but to extend her life.
Throughout the Oscar season we have seen Gabourey Sidibe confidently walked the red carpet. She has openly flirted with Gerard Butler and she has said that she wanted Justin Timberlake to be her Oscar date. She is a poised young woman and seemingly during awards season no one wanted to mention the fact that Gabby is a big girl. Hopefully, she has enjoyed her fifteen minutes because today Howard Stern called her “enormous”. His assessment was brutal, but her size is a valid issue. Oprah Winfrey predicted a billiant career for the young starlet, but this is not a country that celebrates the full figure. Sadly, Stern probably said out loud what many have been whispering to each other.
There was an awkward moment during the NAACP awards the other night. While accepting the award for best director, Lee Daniels said his story was about a 350 lb illiterate girl. Gabourey Sidibe as well as the entire stage was on stage. Sidibe immediately corrected him and said she was not 350 pounds. He immediately corrected himself, but this was a very interesting exchange. Sidibe could be described as morbidly obese. She has done numerous interviews in which she has said she is comfortable with herself, but she would not allow herself to be defined as a 350 lb. person. Some have said that Daniels actually insulted her but I think this is a case of splitting hairs. She may not be 350 but she is close to it, and Daniels was describing a character not her, but if she found the characterization insulting she is the only one that can change it.
Last night I watched the NAACP Image Awards. It amazes me when I watch this production. I wonder how can they afford to put on such a lavish presentation will all the problems that need to be addressed in the community, but that is a subject for another post. Gabourey Sidibe won an award for her portrayal of Precious. Sidibe unlike the character she portrayed is an infectious, gregarious young woman who exudes confidence, but let’s get real what will she be doing this time next year? There are no roles for a 350 pound black woman in Hollywood. The movie Precious also won for best picture and the director Lee Daniels said no one in Hollywood wanted to back this movie because of its premise. So what does Sidibe have to look forward to? Precious, The Sequel? I was discussing this with a friend of mine and she reminded me of last year’s media darlings, The Slumdog Millionaire children. The directors brought all of the children from India to the Oscars. These talented children were from the slums of India and they got a chance to dress up, stay at a grand hotel and mix with industry elite, but when the evening ended they were on a plane back to the slums. They carried with them incredible memories, but we will probably never see them again. Hopefully, Sidibe is enjoying all the accolades and the praise that go with being an Oscar nominee because next year she will probably be at home watching.
Last month Vanity Fair featured a very menacing Tiger Woods on the cover. This month they went in another direction. They feature up and coming actresses in Hollywood, but they all have something in common besides talent. They are all white. This is especially egregious in light of some of the astounding performances of people of color. Gabourey Sidibe comes to mind. She is the star of the much acclaimed movie Precious. She has been featured on the cover of Ebony, and she was also interviewed by Newsweek for their anuual roundtable of possible Academy Award nominees. She is in fact now a nominee. There is also MoNique she too turned in a stellar performance, but they simply did not fit the profile or the weight limit. Talent obviously was not the governing factor in selecting the starlets. Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire might have made the weight restriction, but while they all are talented there was simply a factor they could not overcome. They were all too dark to be considered a star.
The movie Precious was an eye-opening movie with a very controversial subject matter. Precious gave us an unflinching glance at a part of society that we usually don’t see. Gabourey Sidibe is nominated for best actress, Monique for best supporting actor, Lee Daniels for best director and the movie is nominated for best picture. It is an incredible tribute to a brutally honest picture that shed light on a real family tragedy that had issues that could not be resolved in the two hours it took to watch the film.
While watching Oprah Winfrey on Friday I was struck by something she said to the star of ‘Precious”, Gabourey Sidibe. Oprah quoting Precious director Lee Daniels said “Gabby speaks like a white girl from the Valley and is so confident that she is either in denial about her physicality or from another planet.” This is insulting on two levels. It is outrageous that Daniels would say it, and it is astounding that Winfrey would repeat it. Sidibe is an obese woman, but the fact that she is confidant in her own skin is not delusional. It is inspiring. Newsflash: not every big woman is a shame of herself. Some obese people actually like themselves. They do not look in the mirror and see someone else like the character Precious did in the movie. They look in the mirror and they like what they see. I might give Lee Daniels a pass on this one, but Winfrey who has struggled with self acceptance should know better. Sidibe has obviously come to love herself. She said she started dieting when she was six years old. In her twenties she finally found self acceptance and she said “One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body.” Amen to that.