Australian actress Rebel Wilson spoke with Ellen DeGeneres last week about being the lead in a forthcoming romantic-comedy Isn’t It Romantic and framed her new role as a first for plus-size women. “I’m proud to be the first ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.”
While the audience cheered, it didn’t take long for many on Twitter to raise their digital eyebrow and counter Wilson’s claim by mentioning actresses Mo’Nique and Queen Latifah. Mo’Nique, who’s earned an Academy-Award for her performance in Precious and was featured in Phat Girlz, took to Twitter to remind 38-year-old Wilson her new gig isn’t ground-breaking.
“Hey my sweet sister. Let’s please not allow this business to erase our talent with giving grey areas and technicalities. Take a moment and know the history. DON’T BE A PART OF ERASING IT. I wish you the best,” Mo’Nique tweeted.
Wilson responded saying it was never her intent to delete Mo’Nique’s professional existence.
“Hi Monique, it was never my intention to erase anyone else’s achievements and I adore you and Queen Latifah so so much x I support all plus size ladies and everything positive we are doing together,” she tweeted.
Unfortunately, the apology came a little too late and Twitter swiftly reminded Ms. Wilson she was not the first.
I just want to encourage plus-size white women to be extra extra aware of the ways in which women of color get erased from the conversation when we talk about making space for bodies of different sizes, because it’s FREQUENTLY rooted in white supremacy we aren’t examining.
— Claire Willett (@clairewillett) November 3, 2018
Umm. The fact that rebel wilson and amy schumer are leads in movies and danielle brooks isn’t tells you everything about plus-sized privilege for WW. Stop this. https://t.co/PMaTOxeyxv
— Good Trouble (@JLBarrow) November 4, 2018
I still can’t believe that Rebel Wilson doubled down on the lie that she’s the first fat actress to star in a rom-com. Like Mo’Nique didn’t snag a handsome doctor in Phat Girlz! Like Queen Latifah didn’t get Common AND LL Cool J!
— Evette Dionne (@freeblackgirl) November 3, 2018
One of the best things to happen out of this Rebel Wilson fiasco is all the outpouring of love and appreciation for Queen Latifah. Latifah is an amazing person and deserves getting all her roses ? ? pic.twitter.com/LBXxPaK5FA
— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) November 3, 2018