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.