CBS comedy “Mike & Molly”
Oh, me. Oh, my. On Monday, Marie Claire blogger Maura Kelly took to the magazine’s website to suggest “overweight couples”–or as she fondly refers to these folks, “fatties”–should “get a room” when making out, kissing, or showing affection of any kind. The lucky subjects Kelly is referring to are the stars on CBS’s comedy “Mike & Molly,” played by actors Billy Gardell (“Mike”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Molly”), best known for her work on “Gilmore Girls.” Yes, that’s right. Somebody just picked on “Sookie St. James”!
Just to be completely clear on her opinion of overweight people, Kelly says, “To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across the room…”
So it’s no surprise Kelly would say, “I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other… because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them do anything.”
Well, bless her heart. How on earth could anyone take Kelly to be the “sizest-jerk” she jokingly mentions in the post? Like saying it before the rest of the world does, somehow lets her off the hook.
Not that the comedy series hasn’t faced criticism for making too many “fat jokes” and portraying a physical relationship between overweight people. To quote CNN Entertainment correspondent Lisa Respers, “It’s also drawn cries from some viewers who aren’t comfortable watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors.”
In case you’re wondering if “Mike & Melissa” is in danger of cancellation due to such claims, well, that’d be a negative. E! blogger Joel Ryan says the comedy is one of “Five Shows That Are Doing Better Than You Think.” The show is doing so well, says Ryan, that it’s in fact “hipper than ’30 Rock’.” Say what?
According to Ryan the newbie show is getting more viewers in the coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic than any of NBC’s “hipster” comedies–minus “The Office.” Everybody digs them some Michael Scott.
So while Kelly might not be the only person who can’t stand the sight of the overweight (just SO mean!), it does seem she might have the largest cojones.
Honestly, it’s no surprise the show is doing so well, considering that according The Journal of the American Medical Association, two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight or obese. CBS is doing the smart thing by finally representing the majority of our population on TV. Not so smart were Kelly’s incredibly narrow-minded, dull, witless… MEAN comments.
Readers of Marie Claire’s blog (and presumably the magazine) have shown their disgust for Kelly’s disgust for the overweight population. As of this moment, 1234 comments (scratch that–1280 in the hour it took to write this) have been added to the post, though some commenters say their earlier comments have been deleted. Regardless, most comments do express utter shock at Kelly’s comments (“Wow. Just Wow.”)
One reader says, “I am greatly saddened by this article and by the profound prejudice and ignorance behind it…”
But one reader of the blog says it best: “…Why? Why contribute to a whole other aspect of social prejudice and bullying?”
It should be said that Kelly has come out (been forced) to apologize for her comments, and that her opinion does not appear to be reflected in the pages of Marie Claire, a magazine I’ve enjoyed for years now.
As a former educator of adolescent girls, I hate that comments like Kelly’s are out there in the media. As a mother of twin baby girls, I am at once outraged and scared to death for what kind of culture they’re inheriting if writers like Kelly still have a voice.
So far it’s a culture that’s trying to embrace a show representing an oft-neglected community of people. The proof is in the ratings.
“Mike & Molly” airs Mondays 9:30/8:30c. Something tells me viewership might go a bit next week.