The problem with Sarah Paulson’s fat suit in ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’

Is that? No. It couldn’t be. But it is. That’s Sarah Paulson playing Linda Tripp, the government employee who secretly recorded Monica Lewinsky, spurring the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

If you didn’t recognize Paulson in the trailer for Ryan Murphy’s upcoming FX series “Impeachment: American Crime Story” it’s likely because the Emmy-winner looks noticeably heavier in the role – thanks both to weight gain and additional prosthetics, according to the Los Angeles Times. This has renewed the controversy regarding actors adorning fat suits.

“It’s very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses,” Paulson told the LA Times in a recent interview. “I think fat phobia is real. I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm. And it is a very important conversation to be had.”

Experts say fat suits perpetuate biases against fat people – and beg the question of whythin actors are getting these roles.

“Why not just pick people that fit the range of actors and different body types that would be appropriate for this role?” asks Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, obesity medicine physician scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Sarah Paulson plays Linda Tripp, the government employee who secretly recorded Monica Lewinsky and instigated the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, in Ryan Murphy’s “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”
Paulson, when speaking with the LA Times, acknowledged that point and expressed regret. (Representatives for the series did not return USA TODAY’s request for comment.)

“I also know it’s a privileged place to be sitting and thinking about it and reflecting on it, having already gotten to do it, and having had an opportunity that someone else didn’t have … I wouldn’t make the same choice going forward.”

In case you missed:What the outcry from Kumail Nanjiani’s sculpted body tells us about racism, masculinity standards

 

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