During a scene of TV One’s new comedy, “Love That Girl” a picture of a plus size woman was used with Tatyana Ali’s head attached to the body. The body used was Erica Watson’s.
The above photo can be viewed 0:51 seconds into the scene.
The show used Ms. Watson’s body in a before and after weight loss photo but they never received permission from Erica Watson nor did they receive permission from Erica’s photographer, Charlie T.
Erica Watson is best known for her one-woman stand up comedy show, “Fat Bitch.” In the show she uses comedy to tackle issues of stereotypical portrayals of black women in the media and this TV One mishap is just the type of situation she speaks about in her show.
Ms. Watson is hurt by the actions of the network and released this statement:
“I work so hard in my comedy to make sure that all women, regardless of size, feel good about their bodies. We live in a society where the value of a woman is determined by what she looks like and it saddens me that a network like TVOne, which does it’s best to combat distorted images of African-Americans would in turn use the body of someone like me for a cheap laugh. What were they thinking?”
I reached out to several individuals in the plus size community to get their feedback on the very sensitive subject.
The International Fuller Woman Network (IFWN), whose mission is to create a national discussion of the acceptance and celebration of plus size women have pledged their support of Erica Watson during this hurtful time. IFWN Founder, Cassandra Jones-McBryde stated the following:
“We can no longer sit idly by while the plus community is continuously humiliated and berated on such a sociably acceptable level. They took Erica Watson, one of the most beloved women for the fight for size acceptance, and distorted her press photo for a mere punchline. This is a societal trend that needs to end now! We need to send a clear message to TV One and the producers of this show and other shows who repeatedly offend the majority of the people in this country with insensitive comments and negative imagery. Enough is Enough.”
Hollywood NOW is another organization who supports Ms. Watson and is bothered by the decision of TV One to use her photo in this capacity. This weekend Hollywood NOW hosts Love Your Body Day , an annual event where women of all sizes come together to celebrate a day of self-acceptance and to promote positive body image. When asked to comment, Chenese Lewis, President of Hollywood NOW said the following:
“I am absolutely outraged that on the dawn of National Love Your Body Day and during Fat Talk Free Week I have a friend who is distraught from being publicly humiliated on national television because of her size. Not only is this unacceptable, it’s ignorant, and insensitive. She had not given permission for her photo to be used and would never do so in the manner. We are fed up with this type of treatment of plus size women in the media and we refuse to be silent, we will no longer support this show or any others that degrade women because of their physical appearance.”
As the Editor-In-Chief of DailyVenusDiva.com I want to make it very clear that we do not support the public humiliation and illegal use of images and likeness of women, men or children regardless of size, race and geographical location with the intent to disgrace and belittle them. I urge anyone who has ever suffered any type of discrimination or embarrassment at the hand of another person, company and/or organization to join us in our quest to bring national attention to this tactless display of humor.
“We live in a society where women’s bodies are scrutinized for multiple reasons on a daily basis. It saddens me that a network founded by a woman would condone the illegal use of another woman’s photo in an effort to poke fun at her likeness. The Executives behind this television show had no right to publicly humiliate Ms. Watson and should be held accountable for their reckless actions.” ~Stephanie Penn-Danforth, Editor-In-Chief of DailyVenusDiva.com, the premiere lifestyle magazine for plus size women.
If you are disgusted by what TV One has done feel free to contact them HERE. It’s important that we let them know how we feel about their actions.
Here is what the photo was used for: