Piers Morgan supports Bill Maher's call for fat-shaming to make a comeback

‘Stop celebrating being massively overweight’

Sarah Young
Monday 16 September 2019 14:01
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Piers Morgan defends Bill Maher's fat-shaming comments

Piers Morgan has defended a US comedian who called for fat-shaming to “make a comeback”.

Last week, comedian and political commentator Bill Maher made a series of controversial comments during an appearance on his HBO show Real Time.

The 63-year-old told the audience: “Fat-shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback,” adding, “Shame is the first step in reform.”

On Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, Morgan said he believes the comedian has “rightly outlined” a problem.

“What did Bill Maher say that’s wrong? We’ve become a society now where we don’t just tolerate morbid obesity, we celebrate it,” Morgan said.

“Stop celebrating being massively overweight. I don’t know how you get people to lose weight unless you say, come on. Enough.”

The presenter also criticised plus-size models starring on magazine covers – a reference to his feud with model and body positivity advocate Tess Holliday over her October 2018 Cosmopolitan magazine cover.

“Is there a way to tackle chronic obesity, to stop putting massive models on the cover of magazines and say this ain’t so great,” Morgan argued.

“We put people who are 320 pounds on the cover of glossy magazines and say ‘isn’t this empowering?’ and this is the problem that Bill Maher has rightly identified to me.”

Morgan added that he would be “quite happy” if his co-host Susanna Reid fat-shamed him.

“I think the best way to lose weight is when someone goes, ‘Blimey you’ve put on a bit, son.’ So you feel a bit insecure and then you go off and reduce one Big Mac a day to half a Big Mac, and so go you go on,” the presenter said.

A number of Twitter users have condemned Morgan’s comments, with many calling for him to be held accountable for “bullying tactics”.

“Fat shaming IS just another form of bullying,” one person tweeted.

“@billmaher and @piersmorgan should be held accountable for their bullying tactics. It’s not about being snowflakes either it just can damage someone’s self esteem. Just have a thought about somebody else.”

Another person agreed, adding: “Bullying. End of.”

While a third social media user wrote: “No shaming whatsoever is acceptable, as this leads to bullying and worse suicidal tendencies encouraging hatred.”

Earlier this week, James Corden released a clip on YouTube from The Late Late Show with James Corden in which he addressed the derogatory remarks made by Maher.

The Gavin and Stacey chastised Maher, saying that fat-shaming “never went anywhere”.

“I mean, ask literally any fat person,” Corden said. “We are reminded of it all the time.”

The presenter went on to explain that there is a “common and insulting misconception that fat people are stupid and lazy”.

“It is proven that fat-shaming only does one thing – it makes people feel ashamed,” Corden added.

“And shame leads to depression, anxiety and self-destructive behaviour. Self-destructive behaviour like over-eating.”

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