Last night as we tuned into the season premiere of Top Chef, Brandon and I remarked how different channels were copying the same concept reality show and repackaging it with a different name and different judges.
There’s Top Chef on Bravo, America’s Next Food Network Star on HGTV and Hell’s Kitchen on Fox. HGTV has Design Star; Bravo has Top Design. Bravo has Project Runway; CBS has The Cut. And as Bravo crowned its first Shear Genius (go Anthony!), the Style Network announced its own hair-raising reality show, Split Ends, set to debut in August.
So, it comes as no surprise there’s not one, not two, but at least three dance-focused competitions. Besides ABC’s popular Dancing with the Stars, the WE Network launched its Dirty Dancing reality show last December and FOX will air its third season of So You Think You Can Dance tonight.
But not if one group has their way. An organization of members throughout the plus-size community have called for a boycott of So You Think You Can Dance, until judges and/or producers issue a formal public apology for their bigoted, anti-fat people remarks.
According to the group, comments by the judges were both mocking and habitual.
In one case, resident judge Shane Sparks instructed an overweight woman who tried out to, “Never come on to an audition looking the way you do again, unless we’re looking for your type.”
She responded, “What’s my type?” to which he said, “Overweight people who can’t dance.”
He then went on to say, “Have you ever watched this show before? Have you ever seen anyone who looks like you on the show? Do your research next time.”
Another case in point:
A big man came on who did a routine that would be physically demanding for anyone – full of jumps, air spins, and effortless splits. At the end of his routine, the audience clapped loudly and Nigel Lythgoe, judge and executive producer, yelled for them to stop. His reason?
“They’re only clapping for you because your fat and that’s patronizing.”
His parting remark to the dancer:
And another Nigel quote:
“I think people have gotten it into their heads now that you have to have some kind of training or be brilliant before you come to us, although the delusional still come to us. I’m amazed at the amount of fat people who come. When the music stops, you expect them to stop. You don’t expect the body bobbles to go on for 30 seconds.”
Go here or click on the image below to find out how you can help join the group in their boycott and mission to end fat-bashing on the air.