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Stranger Things star Shannon Purser says fat actors aren’t allowed ‘upward mobility’ and aren’t hired as ‘iconic characters’


Stranger Things star Shannon Purser has spoken out about a lack of body diversity in Hollywood, claiming fat actors are not being cast as “iconic fat characters”.

Her comments come shortly after a photo went viral of Emma Thompson wearing a fat suit in the forthcoming remake of Matilda.

On Twitter, Purser, who played the popular character of Barb on the hit Netflix sci-fi, wrote: “They’re not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star.

“There are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility,” she wrote on Tuesday (20 June). “We aren’t allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces.”

In the comments underneath, Twitter users voiced their agreement with her argument, with one person writing: “Preach!”

“It makes me sad too, because there are a lot of talented fat actors, and we are fine playing villains, because we want diverse and complex roles on par with those who fit societal standards, as long as we stop being typecasted in roles that are negative BECAUSE we are fat,” another wrote.

Other actors and cultural critics have also expressed similar sentiments in recent years. Back in 2019, James Corden said that “chubby” actors were being excluded from major screen roles.

Purser played Barb in the first two seasons of Stranger Things. She has subsequently appeared in the romantic comedy Sierra Burgess Is a Loser and the CW teen drama Riverdale.

Earlier this month, fans discovered that the ending of Stranger Things’s recent series was actually given away by a member of the cast back in 2016.

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The creators of Stranger Things recently revealed that the forthcoming fifth season will take place after a substantial time jump.

Fans have also spotted a number of hidden details in the latest batch of episodes after Volume 1 of Stranger Things 4 dropped last month.

The first episode of the season contained an emotional Easter egg surrounding the characters of of Max, played by Sadie Sink, and her brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery), who died in season three.

However, one popular Easter egg actually came as a surprise to the show’s writers, who apologised after they failed to spot one key detail about the show’s timeline.

Actor Jamie Campbell Bower revealed that he left co-star Millie Bobby Brown “in tears” because he was “so scary” on set, in character as the young Henry Creel.

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