Is the one-time “That Girl” really a mean girl? Or is Marlo Thomas simply not well-versed in society’s current views on body positivity, despite her long support of feminism and other activist causes?
Who knows? But Thomas, 84, angered the staff at Sherri Shepherd’s new talk show when she “fat shamed” the host during an interview Tuesday, Page Six reported.
Thomas appeared on Shepherd’s show to promote multiple projects, including her upcoming film “Magical Christmas Village.” But Page Six said she stunned people behind the scenes when, at the end of her segment, she reminded Shepherd about a time when their paths had crossed.
“I interviewed you for my AOL show (‘Monday’s with Marlo’),” Thomas recalled, adding “and you used to be a big woman!”
Thomas is apparently referring to Shepherd’s ongoing health journey and her public statements in 2021 about her efforts to lose 35 pounds over an eight-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, Thomas didn’t let up after her “big woman” remark, but made a gesture to illustrate Shepherd’s former shape, Page Six reported. She held up her hands around her waist and blew out her cheeks.
“You’ve lost a lot of weight, but you’ve still got the boobies! That’s good,” Thomas declared.
— KRIS AVALON (@thekrisavalon) November 2, 2022
Shepherd, an actor, comedian and former co-host of “The View,” acknowledged that she “lost like 35 pounds.” She then hopped up out of her seat and embraced Thomas with laughter, but Page Six said her show’s crew didn’t find Thomas’ comments funny.
“Sherri was a good sport, but people (at the show) are very protective of her,” one insider told Page Six.
The staffer added, “People were not happy that she fat-shamed her on national TV. It was a like a slap in the face.”
The insider also said that Shepherd “works really hard at creating a very positive environment. Morale (at work) is everything to her, so people sort of went into mama bear mode.”
Thomas seemed oblivious to the offense she reportedly caused, tweeting out after the show:
I had so much fun with my old friend @sherrieshepherd. So happy she has her own show, @sherrishowtv. She deserves it!! pic.twitter.com/DNr610U5yD
— Marlo Thomas (@MarloThomas) November 2, 2022
But people on social media let Thomas know they weren’t happy about her trying to get a laugh by referring to Shepherd’s weight.
@MarloThomas Ms. Thomas, why did you feel the need to do an impression of “heavy Sherri Shepherd”? It was uncomfortable to watch. I had so much respect for you. How many of St. Jude’s donors were offended? You are too intelligent and inherently good to have done that. Shameful!
— Bill Strippoli (@WStrippoli) November 2, 2022