Purser’s Monday tweet came after the release of Netflix’s Matilda preview, which features actress Emma Thompson appearing as a supporting character in a fat suit.
“They’re not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star. There are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility,” Purser wrote. “We aren’t allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces.”
they’re not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star. there are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility. we aren’t allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces.
— Shannon (@shannonpurser) June 20, 2022
Purser got her big break in 2016 on Netflix’s Stranger Things and found herself cast by Netflix again two years later as the titular character in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Most recently, she was cast on The First Lady, but she does not play a leading character.
Thompson’s role as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda caused some outrage online. The actress is nearly unrecognizable in her fat suit and makeup. Miss Trunchbull was originally played by Pam Ferris, who was overweight throughout her acting career. Ferris would go on to be nominated for a Saturn Award for the supporting role and later win the Clarence Derwent Award for best supporting actress.
Recently, Tom Hanks suggested that the movies Forrest Gump and Philadelphia, in which Hanks played a mentally challenged man and gay man, respectively, could not be made today. Instead, Hanks said today’s audiences demand more “authenticity” in films.