Gabourey Sidibe is undeniably best known for her breakout role in the film Precious– but Sidibe has also been notable, in addition to her body of work, for some of the horrible criticism that has been heaped upon her by other celebrities.
I mean like, really public beating up on Gabourey Sidibe- back in 2010, “shock jock” Howard Stern called the Oscar-nominated actress “enormous” and “the size of a planet” and said “everyone’s pretending she’s a part of show business and she’s never going to be in another movie,” adding that Sidibe “should have gotten the Best Actress award because she’s never going to have another shot.
(Amusingly, Stern’s datapoints were that Oprah “lied” to Sidibe by telling her she could be successful as a fat, black woman, and sought agreement from co-host Robin Quivers, who is also… a fat, black woman.) But when Sidibe appeared on Watch What Happens with Andy Cohen earlier this week, it was Cohen who was gobsmacked when Sidibe related her tale of meeting Joan Cusack.
Sidibe said she was a fan of the comedic actress, who has always seemed cool. But the story the Tower Heist star tells (defending Cusack, mind) is so sadly representative of what women of color, size or both often have to deal with just for being slightly different. Sidibe explains:
“What celebrity was I disappointed by? Oh, and it’s not in a mean way, because I know that she meant well. I met Joan Cusack, who is my favorite favorite- I love her- but, it was before I became [famous] or whatever.”
“I was at some industry party, and she says, ‘Are you an actress?’ And I said, ‘Yeah!’ And she says, ‘Oh honey, you should really quit the business, it’s so image-conscious.’”
Luckily for the star, Gabourey Sidibe did not heed Cusack’s advice, and is set to appear next in Seven Psychopaths with fellow unknowns Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken.