Marie Claire sex and relationship blogger Maura Kelly drew the ire of the internet yesterday with her post about CBS sitcom Mike & Molly titled “Should ‘Fatties’ Get a Room? (Even on TV?),” in which she concluded, yes, “fatties” should get a room because overweight people “gross” her out. Kelly’s post has since received nearly 1,000 comments, and unsurprisingly, the vast majority of them pillory her.
Some commenters are so upset with the mag for publishing the post that they claim they are canceling their subscriptions. One even called for a boycott of Marie Claire until Kelly was fired.
So what does Marie Claire EIC Joanna Coles think of the piece? We asked her yesterday at Banana Republic’s spring show.
“Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger,” Coles told us. “She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.”
Coles said the mag has received over 28,000 email responses to the piece, and that Kelly was “excited and moved by their responses.”
While Coles made clear that she hasn’t actually seen Mike & Molly, she added “I’m concerned about a show that makes fun of large people.”
I haven’t seen the sitcom in question either, and yes, the show has its naysayers, but the critical response has been positive in regards to the way it addresses issues around weight. “Mike & Molly is significant as the second fictional series in recent months to take weight not as a sideshow but rather as a central, animating subject, surpassing even the efforts made by Roseanne in the 1980s and ’90s,” Ginia Bellafante wrote in her review of the sitcom for the New York Times. “Huge, a drama about teenagers at a fat camp, which appeared this summer on ABC Family, displayed a similar sensitivity, a tone aimed at correcting for the reflexive cultural judgments levied against the overweight at a time when obesity has been cast as one of the greatest blights of our age.” “I didn’t take it as making fun at all, and I think I’m really sensitive to that stuff,” actress Melissa McCarthy, who plays Molly, told the Chicago Tribune in August.
Coles went on to rightfully point out that Kelly has since updated her post, profusely apologizing for being “insensitive” and coming off as a “bully.” She also acknowledges that her struggle with anorexia may have had a part in what she calls her “extreme reaction” to the show.
Do you accept her apology? And has Coles done the right thing by standing by the post?