As a longterm fan of yours and a fat woman myself, I was really pleased and grateful to hear you slamming Joan Rivers on The Last Leg for her obnoxious comments about Adele. There are precious few women in the public eye who do not conform to Hollywood’s ideal body type, and as you said yourself Adele is a wonderful role model for young women. I was glad to know there are people like you who are willing to stand up for people like Adele – and, by extension, people like me – despite not being fat yourself.
You’ve always been one of my favourite comedians because while you tackle issues that can be taboo in comedy, such as disability, you don’t take cheap shots at vulnerable people. Your comedy is funny and insightful, rather than cruel, and you often use jokes to stand up for people who are marginalised or treated badly, as you did with Adele.
Then I saw last night’s episode of The Last Leg and your segment on the so-called “obesity epidemic” and Britain’s move to tax soft drinks, in which you said:
“I want to see an ad featuring an overweight diabetic with pizza stains on his top, pressure sores on his arse, looking like he’s three sips away from kidney failure. And then at the end he just looks at the camera and says ‘I haven’t seen my penis since 2003’.”
There was nothing insightful about that “joke”. It was just a tired old stereotype of fat people dragged out for cheap laughs. It was cruel, and contributed to exactly the kind of dickishness about fat people that you harangued Joan Rivers for not so long ago. A week after you took someone else to task for making cruel fat jokes, it was frankly shocking and disappointing to see you falling back on such cruel fat jokes yourself. It really undermines what you were saying in defence of Adele, and makes it look like you only disapprove of insulting and abusing fat people when they are pretty young women.
I hope you think about your joke in Wednesday’s show in the context of your own response to Joan Rivers and consider how hypocritical it was.