Sarah Paulson Is Facing Backlash For Wearing A Fat Suit To Play Linda Tripp In "Impeachment: American Crime Story" And Addressed The Controversy For The First Time

    "There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one."

    Sarah Paulson addressed the controversy surrounding her role in the upcoming series Impeachment: American Crime Story.

    Sarah plays the role of Linda Tripp, a woman who played a prominent role in the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal by secretly recording phone calls with Lewinsky, forming a key part of the Starr Report that led to Clinton's impeachment.

    Linda Tripp speaking into several microphones

    To physically transform for the role, Sarah gained 30 pounds and wore padding.

    However, the decision to wear a "fat suit" led to some backlash on social media — especially given Hollywood's long history of fat phobia and failing to cast fat actors.

    @TheFilmUpdates I like Sarah Paulson but far suits are dehumanizing. Hire fat actors.

    Twitter: @bluestockinsara

    Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Sarah said, "It’s very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses. There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one. I think fat phobia is real. I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm."

    "But that entire responsibility, I don’t think, falls on the actor for choosing to do something that is arguably — and I’m talking about from the inside out — the challenge of a lifetime. I do think to imagine that the only thing any actor called upon to play this part would have to offer is their physical self is a real reduction of the offering the actor has to make. I would like to believe that there is something in my being that makes me right to play this part."

    "Was I supposed to say no [to the part]? This is the question," she continued. "I think the thing I think about the most is that I regret not thinking about it more fully. And that is an important thing for me to think about and reflect on. I also know it’s a privileged place to be sitting and thinking about it and reflecting on it, having already gotten to do it, and having had an opportunity that someone else didn’t have."

    "Should I have known? Abso-fucking-lutely. But I do now. And I wouldn’t make the same choice going forward," she concluded.

    Impeachment: American Crime Story premieres on FX on Sept. 7.

    You can read the full profile with the LA Times here.