Stranger Things star says fat actors aren’t allowed ‘upward mobility’ and aren’t hired as ‘iconic characters’
Stranger Things star Shannon Purser has spoken out about a lack of body diversity in Hollywood, claiming fat actors are not being cast as “iconic fat characters”.
Her comments come shortly after a photo went viral of Emma Thompson wearing a fat suit in the forthcoming remake of Matilda.
On Twitter, Purser, who played the popular character of Barb on the hit Netflix sci-fi, wrote: “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,” she wrote on Tuesday (20 June). “We aren’t allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces.”
In the comments underneath, Twitter users voiced their agreement with her argument, with one person writing: “Preach!”
“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,” another wrote.
Other actors and cultural critics have also expressed similar sentiments in recent years. Back in 2019, James Corden said that “chubby” actors were being excluded from major screen roles.
Purser played Barb in the first two seasons of Stranger Things. She has subsequently appeared in the romantic comedy Sierra Burgess Is a Loser and the CW teen drama Riverdale.
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
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