I was thrilled to spot her at a table laughing uproariously with the man sitting to her right. "I know you're having a good time and I'm sorry to interrupt," I began. My next sentence didn't come out because Sidibe shouted over the din, "Yeah, come back in five minutes!" Thinking she was joking, I laughed and pretended to walk away. When I noticed that the look in her eyes meant she was serious, I walked back to her and said, "I just wanted to congratulate you on your nomination. I thought your performance was spectacular. I even wrote a column about it." After wishing her good luck, I rejoined my friends.
Then, Capehart warns/scolds Sidibe for being rude:
At a dinner for the BET Honors back in January here in Washington, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Oscar-nominated actress and singer Queen Latifah. To be honest, I expected to get the Sidibe treatment. Instead, Latifah was as interesting as she was interested. She greeted fans who came over with a smile and warmth that made people happy they worked up the courage just to say hello. Latifah knows that without fans she has no career. Sidibe's behavior shows she has yet to learn that.
The entire premise of this article, especially with the Queen Latifah bit at the end, seems to be that Sidibe should be nice because she's fat, dark, not attractive by prevailing Western standards of beauty, and had an icicle's chance in hell of being as famous as she currently is. Therefore, Sidibe should be gracious to folks who want to talk about how much they liked Precious, even though by this point she's probably sick of hearing all of that. I also don't think Capehart necessarily believes that "a true star" would "show grace to her fans or appreciation for their kind words." I think by "true" Capehart probably means skinny. And implicitly, Sidibe is a fake star, not because she was rude, but because she's fat, etc. Seriously, if Sidibe doesn't look the way she does is this even an article worth publishing? Who would bother writing an article similarly putting Paula Patton, Sidibe's skinnier, lighter Precious co-star, on blast for being mean?
It's these subtle, banal ways that we dehumanize folks--because being human means you can be an asshole no matter what you look like--that irk me. (Does Capehart tell the homies if he doesn't get an enthusiastic thank you for opening the door for a person in a wheelchair?) And that's not to say that I've always checked myself on fucked up assumptions, opinions, and prejudices I've previously held about people who are overweight. But I don't think I'd ever assume that Sidibe, or people who look like her, should be gracious to the point of obsequiousness to folks who have nice things to say to her. Fat people can be assholes if they wanna; weight does not and should not grant or renege people's right to have a (bad) attitude. Mean folks come in all a shapes and sizes, and to deny a certain segment of the population that right is to deny them agency, humanity. If one has a problem with arrogant people, one should have a problem with all arrogant people. Which is why I have no problem hating on Gabby's weave(s) or what I find to be a rather annoying on-air persona--mostly because it reminds me of whiny white girls from high school. *Kanye shrug*
That said, do your thing, girl. I can't hate.
H/t to my internet boo, @AshonCrawley for posting this article on my Facebook page.