John Legend's Body Shaming Casting Call
(WARNING: This post touches on politics but has more to do with other issues)
Look, I have many opinions about the Donald Trump Presidency. I have even more opinions about those who supported him and still support him to this day. However, what I won't do is try to generalize nor try to stereotype who they are.
I wish I could say the same for others, such as singer John Legend.
Mr. Legend seems to believe that the typical Trump supporter is old and out of shape. Reported first by TMZ.com,
According to a listing on Casting Networks in L.A., the musician's upcoming music video project needs several actors to play protesters on a set resembling a rally/counterprotesters. including 8 white men and women, 30-65 years old, "preferably out of shape" to play Trump supporters.
I have no doubt that with the description of what this video intends to be, Mr. Legend is seeking to portray the negativity surrounding Trump supporters and that being "out of shape" goes hand-in-hand with that. It's yet another example of Hollywood body-shaming.
To confirm this, the casting call even included a reference photo:
I'm not saying that fuller figured people didn't vote for Trump. But I'm also willing to bet that plenty of fuller figured people voted for Hillary and the other candidates as well. So it's a bit confusing on why Mr. Legend is choosing to portray fuller figured people as being close minded bigots (which I'm sure is what is music video is looking to do).
I find it also a bit more than hypocritical that he's stating that the video's message is "We want to show that there is no segregation in love." Except let's make sure all the "out-of-shape" people are Trump supporters. It also should be noted that there is no mention of body size for any of the "positive" protester roles.
I also find Mr. Legend's perception of Trump supporters to be naive considering who actually voted for the man. While he may feel that only white people voted for Trump, voter statistics prove otherwise. Here is a graph showing how various races voted.
Yes, a lot of white people voted for Trump, but so did a good number of people of color. Why does this matter? Because simply showing that Trump supporters are old, out-of-shape white people is ignoring the glaring problem that a lot of them aren't.
However, Mr. Legend's message of love doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that.
Let me make this clear, I am in no way defending Trump or Trump supporters. People of all race, age, gender, and physical shape voted for both candidates and to try to cast political beliefs having anything to do with physical size is wrong.
Of course, though, this is far from the only time the entertainment industry has tried to illustrate that being fuller figured is somehow unattractive, ugly. Now they have to be associated as being Trump supporters as well.
I am extremely disappointed with Mr. Legend's message with this video, For someone who has done so much good work when it comes to advocating equality, to resort to body-shaming is as appalling as it is confusing. Especially considering the hard stance his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and himself have taken against those who do it.