Originally posted 2010-05-14 09:55:27.
You know, I just knew up and down that I wouldn’t have to write about Gabourey Sidibe again. I just knew that she’d ride off into the sunset, preparing for her next upcoming role.
I just knew it.
Of course, I was wrong. (Hey, it happens.) HappyAboutThis found these remarkable little snippets – you should check out the link yourself, but I’m going to paste the important part, beneath:
“When asked for a picture, the less-than-enthused newbie star could barely crack a smile. One photo-seeking fan said jokingly, “that’s all you’re going to give me,” to the pouty Precious. Gabby responded, “you’ll get what I give you.”” – Source: Gabby Sidibe: Not So Precious – FishbowlDC
“I was thrilled to spot her at a table laughing uproariously with the man sitting to her right. “I know you’re having a good time and I’m sorry to interrupt,” I began. My next sentence didn’t come out because Sidibe shouted over the din, “Yeah, come back in five minutes!” Thinking she was joking, I laughed and pretended to walk away. When I noticed that the look in her eyes meant she was serious, I walked back to her and said, “I just wanted to congratulate you on your nomination. I thought your performance was spectacular. I even wrote a column about it.” After wishing her good luck, I rejoined my friends.”
Back at the table, I sheepishly related the incident to my colleague Jo-Ann Armao. “Oh! She’s horrible,” Armao said in her wonderfully blunt way. She told me that she saw Sidibe at the pre-cocktails and told her that she’d seen “Precious” three times (an amazing emotional feat that only adds to my awe of Armao) and that she thought Sidibe’s performance was “incandescent.” What was Sidibe’s response? “I guess I should say, ‘Thank you.'”
At the MSNBC after party, the partner of a “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” producer said to me, “Look! There’s Gabby Sidibe. I’m going to ask her to take a picture with me.” I warned him, “She’s mean.” To which he said, “I don’t care. I just want a picture.” I didn’t see what went down, but the dejected fan came back and said incredulously, “She said no.” – Source: Precious Little Time – Or Grace – For Fans – Washington Post
You know, I don’t love the fact that Gabby is essentially peeing in her own chair, to be crass – no one else has to sit there, but you… so why go out of your way to make it unpleasant? Can you effectively use the media to your advantage? Of course. Is that the better move for you? Absolutely. However. Neither they, nor you, are entitled to or guaranteed anything. Ever.
And I know I’m late, but I needed time to really think about what made me angriest about all of this before I wrote.
So having said that, can we break down the media’s response to Miss Sidibe’s alleged attitude?
First of all, let’s face it – nobody was checking for Precious. The media didn’t give a quarter-damn about the movie until all the awards started springing up. An Oscar-nominated film with plus-sized dark-skinned African American women playing the leads?
“OMG WTF!!!!1111!!11 That’s not gonna sell on the cover! System overload!”
An Oscar nod forced them to pay attention. So, please. Anyone who thinks the media didn’t originally begrudingly give them shine… is foolin’.
Secondly, I feel like I’ve been seeing articles like this far too often, where people cannot separate Sidibe from her character. She’s got to shuck and jive to get y’all to see that she ain’t Precious. Is Hollywood and its ilk sooooooo far removed from Black women – plus-sized Black women at that – that they cannot understand that Gabby (and any other woman who may resemble her) is NOT Precious? That she is NOT the young girl with this forlorn past of painful trauma? That she’s not “the girl hiding from her life in a bucket of chicken she stole from a KFC?” Or is it that people subconsciously are trying to excuse her “weight problem” (because, let’s face it – Hollywood doesn’t love excess… or hell, any weight on anyone) by assuming she must be the girl hiding from her life in a bucket of KFC?
Can someone tell me what they expected from Sidibe? Why it’s so easy for Capeheart and crew to write such gossipy drivel? “Ohhh, how dare she? After I went out of my way to laud and support her and that movie-that-no-one-supported? After I went out of my way to come up to her and tell her how awesome I think she is?” Entitled much?
News flash: Plenty of plus-sized Black chicks do awesome things and have their own sensible level of self-esteem and value of self because of it. They don’t need anyone running up behind them to tell them how good they are… and they certainly don’t need to be “thankful that someone else noticed” their amazingness.
Would proper etiquette dictate that Sidibe should’ve been as sweet as honey in response? Yes. Is she the first Oscar-nominated actress to choose to not be as sweet as honey? Doubtful. Were they so shocked that the “fat Black chick” (sorry, blame Howard Stern for that quote) wasn’t the happy, jovial Black friend that we just can’t get enough of in movies lately? I’d suppose so. Were they offended that this…. less than… would dare ignore the power of ME? The all-powerful media writer who can destroy small careers with a single keystroke? Does she not know how many people I can reach out and touch with my little website? Does she not feeeeeeeeel… my POWER??!?!
Seriously, they need to get over themselves. Once I realized that Capeheart is the dude I watch on Morning Joe every now and again, I was even more disgusted. Blow enough smoke up a writer’s behind, and they start feeling like someone owes them something.
Why am I so cynical about the media and their treatment of the Precious crew? Again, from HappyAboutThis:
Obviously these reports of Gabby being ridiculously unkind for no reason are disturbing. But what stuck out to me was the fact that both posts carried some sort of strange reference to Gabby’s weight.
The first line of the first Media Bistro post was “So, who was the weekend’s biggest (no pun intended) disappointment so far?”
The first line of 2nd Media Bistro post was: “Wow! FishbowlDC wasn’t alone when we gave “Precious” star Gabby Sidibe a GIGANTIC (no pun intended…okay, that’s a lie) thumbs down.”
No, really. So not only did you begrudingly pay attention to her at all, but when you did and realized you wouldn’t be fawned all over and granted favor for doing so… you run to your website to whine as payback? And to top it all off, you sneak in fat jokes? That was what you were waiting on all along, right?
What kind of spiteful, petty, narcissistic, mean-spirited, cruel and insensitive people are we dealing with, here?
Then, the cream on your coffee – Capeheart compares this instance to his time spent sitting next to Queen Latifah… because it totally makes sense comparing someone with 20 years in the game to someone 26 years old.
Oh, wait – they’re both “fat Black chicks who should be grateful for media attention.” My bad, I forgot.
Don’t take my lack of comment on Sidibe’s alleged behavior as condoning it. I’m a firm believer in positive energy and karma (I am a hippie, after all) and I think people should be mindful of that. I’m simply still not convinced that we’re getting the whole story – that there isn’t a little yellow journalism going on as an excuse to finally call a “fat Black chick” exactly what [they think] she is. Just like the video clip of her supposedly handing back flowers to some dude? He gave them to her as he asked her, “Should I call you Gabby or Precious?” Seriously?
In my mind, I’m giving Hollywood the finger. All the amazing Black actresses that get no shine, no love and no support. So many of the popular mainstream movies with primarily Black characters usually include some Black dude in a chick suit. You get one that you’re outright forced to pay attention to, and when she’s not grateful for your attention… you repay her by slipping fat jokes into your self-important drivel? No love.
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