Whoopi Goldberg Reflects On Being Body Shamed With Fat Suit Comments Over Till

whoopi goldberg in till
(Image credit: Orion Pictures)

We are fully into fall, which means that theaters are starting to fill up with new movie releases that are meant to be taken seriously and attract awards attention. Till is one such recently released film, and while the subject matter is focused on the real story of Mamie Till-Mobley’s life-long fight to get justice for her young son after he was abducted, tortured and lynched in 1955, there was some unforeseen controversy over the movie not long ago. Producer and star Whoopi Goldberg was accused of wearing a "fat suit" in the new movie by a reviewer, and she’s now reflected on being body shamed in those comments.

What Does Till’s Whoopi Goldberg Say Now About Being Body Shamed Over Her Role?

It was about a month ago that a review of the empowering movie Till dropped, which pinpointed The View co-host's performance and wrongfully picked apart her supposed use of a “fat suit.” Though the talk show’s moderator got wind of the review at the time, and used her very public forum to correct that writer’s erroneous assumption, Goldberg was asked about the incident during a recent appearance on Tamron Hall, and said:

I'm guilty of this too. You write something and you don't see it as being a snarky comment. But I felt it was important because I wasn't wearing a fat suit. That was actually me, because I'd been sick and had - I mean, that's a lot of me, you know? But that's a lot of steroids and painkillers and all kinds of stuff. And I wanted the young lady to know that I needed her to just do a little bit better of a job.

This film is one that took a long time to get support from a studio, and it’s doing important work in telling a story that’s been forgotten by the mainstream media for far too many decades. There’s been an understandable push to have a much more diverse group of people tell their stories on screen, and that desire for representation also includes folks who want to hear from people with all kinds of backgrounds and lives that have been traditionally overlooked, including those with physical bodies we don’t usually see. With that, the use of prosthetics to make thin actors appear fat has also been under fire.

However, the reviewer clearly made a big mistake on that front, and while the actress seems to understand that her appearance in the movie was very different from what people generally expect from her, she also felt the need to stand up for herself and gently set the record straight. Goldberg continued, noting again that she understands what it’s like to shoot off a comment and not think about the implications, saying:

You know, when you see me do stuff like this. I'm really trying to do the right thing. You know, I apologize for stuff when I think I've done something. They have a hell of a time getting me to do it when they think I’ve done something. But when I think I’ve done something I will generally come out and say it because that’s how I was raised.

The comment from that review was removed, and with the star handling what happened so directly, hopefully it won’t take away from the ultimate importance of the movie’s message. 

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.