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.
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?