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Empire’s Sex Scene Featuring a Plus-Sized, Dark Skinned Woman is Revolutionary

Avatar • Nov 9, 2015

Empire-pic-Gabourey-Sidibe-as-Becky

When actress Gabourey Sidibe opened up last week’s episode of Empire with a steamy love scene, my first reaction was “Okay, get it Gab!” Clad in cute negligee, her fiery character, Becky, seductively kissed and cuddled her boo on a roof top. Becky had her boo begging her for more before the camera cut to the next scene.

I personally thought it was awesome to see a plus sized black woman receive genuine affection on a prime time television show. I felt like the scene gave her character depth and it made a statement. She’s more than the frantic and mouthy assistant that we usually see from week to week. She’s a woman who has a man and they have sex. Yes, as hard as it might be for a few ignorant people to fathom, people of all shapes and sizes have sex. For once a plus sized dark skinned black woman was genuinely thought of as sexy and irresistible in a love scene, without racism or comedy attached to it. Gabby thought the scene was awesome as well and had this to say in a blog post that she wrote for Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired.

The show opens to show that Hakeem is still TAKEN! Oh no! Meanwhile, that fine ass Becky is on a rooftop in the afterglow of doin’ it all romantic-like with some mostly naked dude. YASS Becky and Naked Dude!! Becky says that she’s got to get some sleep before her first meeting with her new boss Andre. Naked Dude gives her some encouraging words and then he doesn’t let her get any sleep. Good. Good for that fine ass Becky.” — Entertainment Weekly

Most of the show’s fan base were here for Gabourey’s character getting some, but others criticized Gabourey for the scene. Celebrity blog, TheShadeRoom, posted a meme on their Instagram account of the actress and her love interest. Not only was the meme dreadful, but the comments under the photo were atrocious.

The comments were made as if someone who’s plus sized isn’t allowed to be sexual or loved.

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However, Sidibe didn’t stay silent on the backlash that she received because of the show.

Also, yes. I, a plus sized, dark-skinned woman, had a love scene on primetime television. I had the most fun ever filming that scene even though I was nervous. But I felt sexy and beautiful and I felt like I was doing a good job. I’m very proud of the work we all did to make that scene a great opening for the episode. I keep hearing that people are “hating” on it. I’m not sure how anyone could hate on love but that’s okay. You may have your memes. Honestly, I’m at work too busy to check Twitter anyway. #Booked. Hope you enjoy next week’s show!” — Entertainment Weekly

Bloop! Good for Gabourey. She’s clearly booked and unbothered. She has absolutely no reason to feel insecure about her love scene because it was fabulous. Her scene was actually quite revolutionary for prime time television and I look forward to seeing her in other roles that show her range as an actress.

What did you think of Gabourey Sidibe’s love scene?

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Dimples12553
Dimples12553
5 years ago

From one plus sized girl to another.…. get your groove on. These smaller girls just don’t have a clue about how much action big girls REALLY turn down.

Caray
Caray
5 years ago

I love her and the scene! Our own people are out worst enemy. If u read the hate it’s black people tearing her down for her complexion and/or weight which is so sad but most of them grew up in the video vixven world where light-bright-damn-near- was coveted as beautiful.

Mochachick
Mochachick
5 years ago
Reply to  Caray

I am still not getting the how her weight and complexion are associated. What does one have to do with the other. It’s her unhealthy body weight that is the problem, NOT her smooth, deep chocolate, unblemished skin. Her body size and the complications that are associated with being morbidly obese that plague our community are the problem and the reason that this is not some sort of “win” for Black women. Why are you and others correlating shades of AA skin complexion with obesity? The association is ridiculous. If she was a lighter skinned AA woman who was morbidly… Read more »

Caray
Caray
5 years ago
Reply to  Mochachick

Apparently you didn’t see or read all the tweets regarding this sex scene. Her weight and the burnt chicken wings next her photo were only about her WeIght & Complexion!

Chaya
Chaya
5 years ago
Reply to  Caray

Say that girl …agreed

ebaiden
ebaiden
5 years ago

: ( …but.…. i paid good money for my lunch

:picks up mop and starts cleaning:

Caray
Caray
5 years ago
Reply to  ebaiden

WTH!

Mochachick
Mochachick
5 years ago

Let me preface this by saying that I am one of the apparently small number of people who is not particularly fond of Empire – Not a fan (#TeamBlackish). However, even so, I am aware of the characters on the show and the hype of this particular scene. While I DO NOT condone in any way on-line, or offline/in person, shaming, I cannot condone the supposed “big girl” support personified by Gabby. She is not just a “big girl;” she is morbidly obese. It is an unhealthy body state. That’s the truth! No shaming intended; just the truth. Yes,morbidly obese girls… Read more »

lis
lis
5 years ago
Reply to  Mochachick

Big up all the big girls.…but I agree with everything you said.…and the wig is atrocious…I really feel that Lee Daniels person is mocking her.

Mochachick
Mochachick
5 years ago
Reply to  lis

^^^^OMG, I thought I was the only one that believed this about Lee Daniels. Some of his comments about Black women have been side-eye worthy. I know he says that his remarks have been taken out of context, but I’m just sayin’…

Rolbb
Rolbb
5 years ago
Reply to  Mochachick

Thank you! Its not revolutionary, its a morbidly obese woman (who is more likely to die of diabetes, heart attack, have high blood pressure, hyper tension etc) being celebrated as a sexy dark skinned woman. Morbidly obese people are not bad, evil or should be bullied BUT that is not where I want black women to go. I dont want them believing that its OK to look like that, that there are gonna be people cheering for you when you get to that weight. We’re already, as a demographic, predominantly overweight and obese. Tl;dr Sure, you might find a guy, heck… Read more »

Cathy0001
Cathy0001
5 years ago
Reply to  Mochachick

I can’t help but to think that her image is more easily accepted by the White public than an attractive, intelligent, in-shape Black woman.

—————————————
Like every other black woman on TV? I’ll bet that’s news to Halle Berry, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis and Nicole Beharie.

CommonVillage
CommonVillage
5 years ago
Reply to  Mochachick

Yep. Not a light-skinned, dark-skinned issue. All dark girls are not BIG. Not sure why that’s always clumped together like it’s inevitable. And that blond wig bugs the hell out of me.

Sherron Roberts
Sherron Roberts
5 years ago
Reply to  Mochachick

I loved the first season of Empire but after watching the first few episodes of Season 2 I stopped watching. I don’t like Empire anymore (too much homosexual content & too many negative, stereotype portrayals of black people for MY personal tastes) I too, love the show #Blackish and watch it with my 7‑year-old daughter. Blackish reminds me of 2 of my other favorite family TV shows (My Wife & Kids and The Cosby Show) that depict a loving black family doing and being GOOD things. I prefer to watch more positive shows about us. I stopped watching Empire for… Read more »

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

I don’t even watch Empire, and I love this. Big women are sexy, beautiful, and loved. Faux concern and “health activists” (aka cyber bullies) can’t change that.

Tinuke
5 years ago

We’re behind in the UK so it’s yet to air over here, though I think it may be tomorrow’s episode (yay!). I’m in full support of her scene and I don’t even have to watch it to say that. As a plus sized black woman I’m happy that we are being shown as sexual, rather than the funny class clown or quiet nerdy, unloved roles that we normally encounter on air. Yup, people of all sizes and races enjoy sex, it’s time we get with it!

MalagasyGirl
MalagasyGirl
5 years ago

Alicia
Alicia
5 years ago

I hate when some uses hater when people don’t agree. Taking a word and using wrong. >.>

Sally
Sally
5 years ago

Wait a minute i understand she was raped in Precious, but i watched and rewatched american horror story a couple of times and i dont remember her being raped…i remember a masterbation scene but rape?? nah girl your reaching…

anon
anon
5 years ago
Reply to  Sally

She was raped by the minotaur..it was disturbing.

Sally
Sally
5 years ago

The funny thing is that if she was a woman who was skinny ‚maybe bordering on being underwieght no one would have a problem with it. Its only when a plus sized woman has this type of scene then all of a sudden people want to educate her about being “healthy” like really? Here’s an example in the movie ““The girl with the Dragon Tatoo” with Daniel Craig, the girl in the movie was in my opinion underweight. I could practically see her ribs and it was unconfortable to watch especially knowing that people where glorifying her appearance. My question… Read more »

HisMercy
HisMercy
5 years ago
Reply to  Sally

No, I definitely think people talk when someone is overly skinny…well people talk all the time regardless, but I have definitely read “eat a sandwich”, “I can see her ribs” comments before.

Sally
Sally
5 years ago

Exactly the scene in American Horror Story was a love scene, ljkhug from above seems to think that she was raped…SMH the extent that people will go to justify their own prejudices

ljkhug
ljkhug
5 years ago
Reply to  Sally

Really? I guess I was confused by the fact that she was bleeding to her death following her “love scene” WITH A MINOTAUR. I don’t know, somehow that seemed to me not the most enviable of intimate encounters. Then again, I know its AHS so anything goes, but in no way was that “love” scene about anything related to love, or sexiness. Please watch that episode again. Also, what prejudices? I reread my post and nothing about it seems prejudiced. Prejudiced against sex scenes? ha, I would have to turn off my tv permanently in that case. Maybe we are so… Read more »

Lakitha Goss
Lakitha Goss
5 years ago

Gabby is a great actress. In reality, I feel that the producers have made a mockery of her appearance on purpose. Lee Daniels seems to have issues with black women, especially the dark skinned ones. Black women will always be judged by how we look instead of our character.

ljkhug
ljkhug
5 years ago
Reply to  Lakitha Goss

it saddens me to agree with you.

Frugivore Clarissa
Frugivore Clarissa
5 years ago

That’s great that she feels fabulous and all, awesome for her. But can we take some time to talk about the obesity epidemic affecting the black community? I’ve had plenty of my relatives slowly die all while being told they were “big and sexy” and that those pointing out their growing health problems were just haters. I guess the doctors and nurses who tried to save their lives were “haters” too. It’s always funny to me how white people think being anorexic is beautiful and black people think being obese is beautiful. There is no such thing as a healthy… Read more »

Frugivore Clarissa
Frugivore Clarissa
5 years ago

Here are some helpful stats for you: In America, anorexica kills 200 people a year; Obesity kills 500 people a day. I will leave it to you to look up the group of people most affected by obesity related illness and death. Here’s a hint, they’re not white. Hop on over to Netflix and give the documentaries Forks Over Knives and FedUp your undivided attention please.

Amber
Amber
5 years ago

Good for her. Everyone needs/deserves love. That said, I do think she is morbidly obese and needs to address that. It was just Big Pun’s birthday the other day. That was someone who was confident, successful, admired — but still died too soon. As far as the sex scene goes, I think that maybe the restricted mobility of a person that large is just mentally a turn off. Personally, I wasn’t offended by it — but could live without seeing it- same with all the gay love/sex scenes on this show. At any rate, no reason for all this online… Read more »

Dimples12553
Dimples12553
5 years ago

Why does everyone profess to love and care for her all of a sudden. You are not her doctor. I will have you know, just because you are a big girl does not mean that you are unhealthy. People subscribe to these terms that they hear all of the medical community using without realizing that there are people that are and will ALWAYS be exceptions to the rule. You can have a person that is 5 ft. 9 in. tall and weighs 275 lbs. The BMI for this person would make them morbidly obese as well. You do a CBC and… Read more »

Sherron Roberts
Sherron Roberts
5 years ago

The scene was a great reflection of REAL LIFE in my opinion. The truth is that people of ALL body shapes, skin colors, and sizes DO have sex, and have love and romance in their lives so why not show that fact on TV?

clever_moniker
5 years ago

She had a love scene with a Minotaur in American Horror Story Coven a few years back, but maybe this one is more intense. It’s good to see a big, dark skinned woman have the capacity to be loved. It’s an important image for women everywhere since their often the butt of jokes instead of objects of affection. Whenever she gains any notoriety, though, the concern trolls come out about her unhealthy weight. Please. Let her doctor worry about that. She doesn’t “promote” an unhealthy lifestyle as some claim. In fact, it’s the deathly thin models of the 90s that… Read more »

December86
December86
5 years ago

I am really trying to understand why people are so disgusted.. just because she is big…okay…NEWFLASH if you have a vagina and he has a penis you can have sex No matter your circumference ! We rather see (no disrespect to my gays I love yall!) but we rather see fine Jussie smooch all over his boo and Hakeem with every tight booty singing exotic chick. The saddest part of this post shows that most of those comments came from BLACK WOMEN how can we ask for respect and claim no one notices how beautiful we are when WE DOWN… Read more »

Zenkiea Hjerpe
Zenkiea Hjerpe
5 years ago

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. I’am honestly appalled of how some of you are supporting Ms. Sidibe to an early grave. Please take off your glasses of deception and tell the truth and shame the devil. Gabourey Sidibe is mortally obese that is a fact. What’s even more unfortunate is that her heart, blood pressure and internal organs are slowly suffocating to death at this very moment and no one seems to give a damn about her well being. It is truly devastating how the media, industry producers, directors, etc is using her up as a carnivale spectale. What’s even more unfortunate… Read more »

Judy
Judy
5 years ago

I have to agree with MochaChick. While I am all in favour of showcasing big girls in a way that depicts them as sexy/attractive/beautiful, I’m afraid I couldn’t get behind this one — she is morbidly obese.

Not big, not overweight — morbidly obese.

It actually makes me sad, because at that size, she could keel over within the decade. While I certainly don’t condone the mean-spirited comments she received, I also can’t find it in me to cheer her on.

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

I have never watched the show but saying an actress shouldn’t do a love scene because of her weight is riduculous. I’m happy she is a black woman whose hard work is paying off..

Biss
Biss
5 years ago

She is a goddess in that scene and that is all. Haters cannot rain on my parade today. This type of portrayal of diversity in the media (despite some saying it is unhealthy) is essential in order for us to mover forward. Especially in a society that spends its time fat-shaming and color-shaming portraying people who do not fit the commercial norm as a joke. I have seen plenty of unhealthy skinny people in sex scenes and for those that think that skinny is better…guess what: anorexia leads to organ failure too at its worse. There will always be people… Read more »

ljkhug
ljkhug
5 years ago

So, I love Gabby and her no f‑cks given way of carrying herself and directly addressing people’s negative reactions regarding her weight. While I do think it’s wonderful to see her getting #booked so much, I have now seen her in two films/shows where she is raped (Precious and AHS Coven) and although here the sex is consensual and non-violent, I worry about her accepting any roles given where it’s clear the casting director loves the SHOCK factor of her being overweight and in a sexually explicit scene more than casting Gabby as another actress. To me it reeks of… Read more »

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