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Howard Stern back in spotlight after Gabourey Sidibe attack

This might be the most attention Howard Stern has gotten for himself since leaving terrestrial radio.

On Monday, the Sirius/XM shock jock ran afoul of the size-acceptance trend by unloading on Gabourey Sidibe, the Oscar-nominated actress in "Precious."

During a lengthy riff on the Academy Awards telecast, Stern -- rumored to be in the running to replace Simon Cowell on "American Idol" -- called Sidibe "the most enormous fat black chick I've ever seen" and joked that it looked as if she took up two chairs at the ceremony. He went on to dismiss her career prospects: "It's just ludicrous ... She's never gonna be in another movie." And he added some advice: "Go get yourself thin -- you're gonna die in, like, three years." Stern's sidekick, Robin Quivers, joined in the attack.

Since the outburst, Sidibe has been defended by everyone from her mother to Perez Hilton. Zennie Abraham, a blogger for the San Francisco Chronicle, called Stern a racist. On "The View," Whoopi Goldberg pointed out that Sidibe has been cast in new films and TV shows (including a role on Showtime's upcoming series "The Big C") and then noted that male actors such as John Belushi, John Candy and Chris Farley were also overweight. "I don't recall anyone saying they would not have careers," Goldberg said. (Through her manager, Sidibe could not be reached for comment.)

There is no way of knowing, of course, whether Stern deliberately threw down the Sidibe challenge just to stir up some controversy for his talk show, which generates nowhere near the attention it did when it was syndicated on local radio stations. But commenting (brutally) on the taboo issues of weight, gender and race during one five-minute rant, Stern seems to have rekindled his legendary ability to get under people's skin and make headlines. King of all media, indeed.

-- Scott Collins

Comments () | Archives (19)

Howard Stern is beginning to look like Glen Beck

If you like Howard Stern Sirius XM then see their “rags to riches” story on DVD. The movie is called “Stock Shock” and it goes over the history, development, and near-death experience of the stock. I did not know the inventor of sirius xm was a woman!–well she is now, at least. DVD is cheaper at www.stockshockmovie.com, but the DVD is pretty much everywhere for sale.

Howard,though I am not close to being a fan,is exactly right.THe girl represents the obesety problem that all America is talking about.Those who are encouraging her to remain obese are not doin g her any favor.

What a sad play for attention.

Obviously Stern's followers have plummeted if he had to trash talk a very young woman nominated for an Academy Award for her first screen role to get attention. She did a brilliant job and will work again and often. Maybe with a good support team she'll lose the weight but he will still be ugly and disgusting. He must be losing his oxygen because no one cares anymore except unemployed men in bars and feels he is becoming a forgotten trivia answer.


He's a jerk but he's right. The academy is using her to show how her open and progressive they are...show me one academy member who looks like her. And she does represent America's obesity problem. And she'll be lucky to be cast in two more movies. And she may be dead shortly absent weight loss intervention. And next year's 'freak' of the moment is right around the corner to be used by every group that can gain from it.

why do you ask to post comments if your going to censor them? my comments are short and to my viewpoint, they are nor crude or lewd or raciest. it seems your screeners like wordy essays on all your subjects.

Stern is an idiot but he's right on the money in this case.

1. The girl won the role in Precious based mostly on the fact that she was the only half way decent actress who fit the physical role. She was fat enough to do it. She's not a good actress. If she was averaged size we wouldn't know her name today. And while yes, she's hot right now and getting roles, those will dry up soon enough and the only thing we'll see her on is Celebrity Fit Club. There are others out there who aren't skinny and pretty such as Kathy Bates who will always have a career because she's talented. Sidibe is not. She's a one hit wonder and she only got that one wonder because she's fat.

2. The fact that Whoopi Goldberg's defense was to bring up Belushi, Candy and Farley backs up what Stern was saying about the girl needing to lose weight or die in three years. ALL THREE ARE DEAD!!

Hmmmm. John Belushi, John Candy and Chris Farley. All overweight. All dead. Howard is right.

hmmm...I believe that Belushi died of an overdose of heroin & coke, not his weight. Get the facts right. Candy and Farley died because of their weight.

If Gabourey can develop the same attention grabbing, step on anyone who gets in the way, saying and doing anything that will keep HER in the spotlight ways that Howard Stern has mastered, then she will have no problem. After all, Howard's looks have never held him back, have they?

Stern has a show? Since he left terrestrial radio (or did he just wear out his welcome at every job), Stern is literally the Forgotten Man. Who cares what he spouts off about.

Howard who?

I recall that Rex Reed said on a nationally-syndicated movie review program in the mid-80s that he hoped that Marlee Matlin wouldn't win that year's Oscar for "Children of a Lesser God," because there wouldn't be any future roles for a hearing-impaired actress. Here's hoping Howard Stern is as dead wrong as Rex Reed was.

There is a difference between being a large woman (or person) and being morbidly obese. People like Kathy Bates, Rosie O'Donnell, and even John Belushi (to use Whoopi's example) were "large" but I don't think anyone except the tabloids is or was giving them too hard a time about their weight. Gabourey Sidibe however is morbidly obese and anyone who publicly defends her size is doing a disservice to us all. It's one thing to argue if she's a good actor or not and if she'll remain a star but no decent person should be saying that her size is healthy and acceptable.

Gabourey Sidibe isn't nor will ever be a Belushi, Candy, or Farley. The fact of the matter is that many actors and actresses spend their entire lives waiting for that break out movie. It's a travesty when all they had to do was sit at home and eat dumplings instead.

....wow!....i didn't know stern could predict the future!....he is in the wrong business for sure if his predictions are right.....hey, howard, what are your ratings gonna be in 2-3 yrs???/.....is you gonna be around???.like live or dead, radio wise or physically????

If people like Perez Hilton and Whoopi Golderg disagree with you, it probably means you're saying something right.

Howard is totally right in this case. You can make the argument that it's wrong to tease people on the radio. Howard's guilty of that. But he's also been doing that for 30 years.


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