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No, Whoopi Goldberg Did Not Wear a Fat Suit for Till

Till, a historical drama about the lynching of Emmett Till, had its premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 1. While most reviews have praised the film for the handling of its harrowing subject matter, one reviewer said she was distracted by Whoopi Goldberg’s fat suit. Goldberg has now spoken out about the fact that there was no fat suit, saying “you want to leave people’s looks out.”

On Monday’s installment of The View, Goldberg recounted her busy weekend following the opening of Till. Her co-hosts praised the film, congratulating Goldberg on her performance and the work that she did to help get the film made.

Goldberg then took a break in the celebration to address a review that appeared in The Daily Beast. “There was a young lady who writes for one of the magazines and she was distracted by my fat suit in her review, and I’m just gonna say this. I don’t really care how you felt about the movie, but you should know that was not a fat suit—that was me. And that was steroids,” she said, referring to medication she’d been on due to an illness during the filming of the movie.

“And I assume you don’t watch the show or you would’ve known that was not a fat suit. But I just want to let you know that it’s OK not to be a fan of the movie, but you want to leave people’s looks out. So just comment on the acting and if you have a question, ask somebody. Because I’m sure you didn’t mean to be demeaning.”

When co-host Sunny Hostin criticized the reviewer, saying “I’m just so surprised she would write this review knowing the health challenges you’ve experienced,” Goldberg quickly added, “We will hope that she just didn’t know. And now she’ll know the next time you go to talk about somebody, you talk about them as an actor. If you’re not sure if that’s them in there, don’t make blanket statements, because it makes you not sound like you know what you’re doing.”

The Daily Beast has since deleted the line about the fat suit, and has amended the review with an editor’s note acknowledging Goldberg’s statement.

In Till, Goldberg plays Alma Carthan, Till’s grandmother, and is also a producer on the film. The movie is based on the true story of Emmett Till, a Black fourteen-year-old who, in 1955, was lynched by a white mob in Mississippi after a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, claimed that he had whistled at her. The story is told from the perspective of Till’s mother, Mamie Till (Danielle Deadwyler), who fought to make sure the nation knew what happened to her son, insisting on an open casket that the world would see. Photos of Till’s body were printed in newspapers, sparking outrage and spurring on the Civil Rights Movement.

Till will open in select theaters on October 14, with a general release scheduled for October 28.

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