Precious and Empire Star Gabourey Sidibe Has No Time For Lazy Script-Writing

'Yes, I will pull out my black card and slap someone in the face with it'


South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas (SXSW) is well underway.

On Sunday, the conference gave us the Joe Biden hit we've been craving (we miss you, Joe) and on Friday, Tumblr teamed up with Planned Parenthood for a super-cool rally.

One of the coolest events, however, seems to be a panel, womaned by Jenny Slate, Janicza Bravo, Danielle Macdonald, and Gabourey Sidibe. Four bad-ass film-makers in one room, talking on, 'The Female Lens: Creating Change Beyond the Bubble', sounds blummin' good to us.


According to Hello Giggles, 34-year-old Jenny Slate served up some realness, 'I don't want to play a quirky best friend just because I have a different face than a person with a small nose.'

Can we get an Amen?

And 33-year-old Gabourey Sidibe (star of Precious and Empire) has had enough too.

Gabourey Sidibe, Danielle Macdonald, Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine Cindi Leive, Janicza Bravo and Jenny Slate

The actress told the crowd, 'I get a lot of scripts and offers where someone has to make mention of my body immediately. Someone wrote a script with me in mind and the first time someone other than my character was talking about my character, they say 'this hippo' or 'this elephant'.'

Gabourey Sidibe

Sidibe is tired of her weight being any character she plays' only characteristic, the first thing mentioned and the only reason she is cast.

She continued, 'I'm like, 'Are you serious? You wrote something for me and you're calling me a hippo.' This is my body. This has been my body my entire life, and in my life my friends and my colleagues are not constantly talking about my body. But in most of my roles, somebody has to make mention of it.'

Gabourey Sidibe

Sidibe explained that, in reality, her friends and colleagues do not constantly discuss her weight, that is simply not a reality, so why should the characters in the shows she acts in? So far, only two shows she's worked on have not mentioned her weight, Empire and Difficult People.

She even had weight loss surgery last May (she spoke to People magazine openly about it) and it didn't deter people from constantly making reference to her size.

In her new book, This Is My Face, Try Not To Stare Gabourey explains, 'It has taken me years to realize that what I was born with is all beautiful...I did not get this surgery to be beautiful. I did it so I can walk around comfortably in heels. I want to do a cartwheel. I want not to be in pain every time I walk up a flight of stairs.'


And realistic representations of all shapes of women on screen isn't Sidibe's only bugbear, she won't have inaccurate representations on blackness either.

Gabourey Sidibe

According to People, she told the audience at SXSW, 'I have had to read plenty of lines and words for my black a– that was written by a white man," Sidibe said. "Not to say that it is not good. There is a lot that you don't know, really. Depending on the work, I have had to check the honesty and cater it to me as a black woman. It is the actor's job to honesty-check it.'

And if it doesn't pass that test?

'I will pull out my black card and slap someone in the face with it.'

Sounds fair enough.

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes

According to Sidibe's ol' Wikipedia page (call me Sherlock), she was actually brought up with her Aunt, the feminist activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes, so it's no surprise Gabourey is so politically on point.

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