Thursday, August 09, 2007

Alton Brown's comment about the his fat fans

Last night I was on TWOP checking out the Iron Chef America thread. Someone had posted something that Alton Brown had said back in 2004 about his fat/obese fans on a forum he posts on. Here is what was said:

As for more serious matters, I’m passionate about this country getting off it’s fat butt and getting into shape. I see a lot of very heavy people at my demos and book signings and I don’t like that. They come up and they’re so nice and they say “gosh we love food and love your show” and I want to say “I think you might lay off both and go for a walk”. I’ve never actually said this because it would be mean but it really worries me.

I'm glad he didn't say it to his fans, but the fact that he would admit it public like that? I must admit how upsetting it was to read that, as someone who has been struggling with her weight for years. If I had a chance to meet Alton, I would like to say the following to him:

1. Do you really think all of your fat fans just sit around and stuff their faces? Do you think they are incapable of being anything but lazy because they are hefty?

2. While I understand your concern- do you not understand how hurtful that is your fat fans??

I have learned MANY things from Alton by watching Good Eats, but I'm incredibly shocked at how callous he is towards his fat fans. He may not say it, but he certainly thought it. There are plenty of fat people who are not lazy, there are plenty of fat people who do not gorge themselves. There are plenty of fat people, like myself, who do exercise regularly and eat healthy and still have to deal with the stares and jokes by strangers on a daily basis.

I did some more research on his quote but couldn't find anything else besides something from Big Fat Blog about Alton, and there were comments about him having had some sort of health scare around the same time he made that comment about fat people- so maybe that's where he is coming from. I can cut him a bit of slack about that- I can only imagine how scary it must be to face certain death because of a weight issue, but at the same time, it irks me because what it does is stereotypes and puts all fat people into the same category. There's enough fat discrimination in this world, enough already.

I like Alton and his sense of humor, I am not going to boycott him per se, but I'd like him to know that he does have a fat fan who took his quote quite personally and wanted him to know that one size does not fit all.

EDITING TO ADD ON MARCH 10, 2008: My blog has been filled with some nasty comments regarding my personal opinion. I'll say this once and once only- this is not a site for you to shit on fat people- go somewhere else if you want to do that. Any hateful and derogatory comments will be promptly rejected.

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At 4:14 PM, Blogger Nirmala said...

Wow! I had no idea he thinks that. And I'm a fan of his show. I'll have to reconsider.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I'll still watch his show, but I think maybe an email to him via Food Network or the AltonBrown dot com website may be something to do. A lack of sensitivity in this area should warrant some sort of education on the matter, IMO.

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a fan of Alton's til I watched the next fn star this year. He was rude to the contestants and was horrible when discussing them with the other judges. What an ass.


At 9:42 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I never liked Alton or his show. I find him kind of snarky and know-it-all, and now I know why...HE IS.

That is absolutely unbelievable that he said that. I just reread it and I'm quite appalled. How about Alton getting off his keister and working towards healthier school lunches or ideas for nutrition-packed meals instead of making stupid hurtful remarks??

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow, you know I have heard it all before- how people were turned off by Alton's attitude and how they feel he is condescending towards some (mostly on ICA), I've seen it but dismissed it. Maybe it's just his sense of humor, I dunno. Whatever it is it does leave a sour taste in some viewers mouths, though.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Kate said...

Wow. I'm a chunky monkey from Sacramento and I totally heart Alton, and now ... pardon my crudeness ... my hard on on him has gone totally soft.

Alton, you've wounded me. As for my fat, have you considered getting your mole lasered off? How does *that* sound to you?


At 5:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like alton brown...but on this topic, perhaps he will begin to understand how it really feels, seeing as how he seems to be packing on the pounds himself lately. Compare his earlier shows to now and hes big. He even has some man boobs. SEXY!!

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Bill McGonigle said...

I was pretty fat, now I'm just slightly overweight. I used lots of Alton Brown's recipes and food knowledge to help me create tasty, healthy, recipes for myself to make eating healthy enjoyable, and continue to now feed my family with healthy food that even kids love. Thanks Alton, I owe a few years to you. Tough love is fine by me.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Tough love is one thing, but snarky and bitchy comments are quite another. I find Alton's comments to be the latter.

Congrats on your weight loss!

At 7:31 PM, Blogger scott said...

The worst feeling in the world is finding out that someone who you love and have dedicated literally years of your life getting to know seems to hate/reject you or people who are like you.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger abe said...

I always thought of AB as being more of an entertainer, this was never more apparent than after seeing that foolish and tragic attempt of a (vaudeville on low-grade crack) show he put on with that gay guy who seems to be on every freakin'gay/cooking program on t.v. I wanted to throw up in my mouth and gargle till my nose bled it was so bad. Seriously, I do enjoy some of his GE shows, and if AB is really a born again christian like he claims- what's with all that pent up anger he has towards fatties and his gastrically challenged fan base? Because he's a douche- accept it. BTW, I happen to love the corpulent ladies, and they have nothing to be ashamed of. Big-boned? Sure, I can buy that... but please save some food for me?

At 11:34 PM, Blogger scott said...

Some opinions should be kept inside.


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