Stranger Things and Riverdale Star Shannon Purser Slams Hollywood’s Discrimination Against ‘Fat Actors’

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Stranger Things and Riverdale star Shannon Purser has condemned Hollywood for its lack of “fat actors” in her recent Twitter post. The Emmy Award-nominated actress recently posted to Twitter laying out her take on why there are so few plus-sized movie stars in Hollywood.

"[Studios are] not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star," Purser wrote in her tweet. "There are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren't allowed upward mobility. We aren't allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces."

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Shannon Purser’s recent statement is a part of an ongoing online discussion about how the TV and film industries treat overweight characters. In Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Matilda the Musical, it features actress Emma Thompson wearing a fat suit to portray the "hideous and evil" Miss Trunchbull, who is canonically fat in the original book of Roald Dahl and its following adaptations. The casting of actress Thompson has led to many people expressing a desire to see plus-sized characters played by real plus-sized actors rather than using prosthetics like a fat suit.

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Following her performance as Nancy Wheeler’s best friend Barbara Holland in the first season of the hit Netflix original show Stranger Things, Purser went on to appear on the Riverdale series as Ethel Muggs. It was recently announced that the adaptation of the upcoming seventh season will the last of the show.

While this announcement may come as a surprise for the fans of the show, the creator and showrunner of the Riverdale series Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa recently revealed that he was not surprised by the cancellation of the series. "It came out of conversations with the studio and The CW and [CEO] Mark Pedowitz," Aguirre-Sacasa said in an interview with TVLine. "When we were renewed for Season 7, though we weren't told at the time it'd be our final season, I think we were all feeling that it might be. When Mark and I talked about it… it was bittersweet."

Although several fans felt that Purser’s character left Stranger Things too soon, teases for the season finale of Stranger Things Season 4 show that there are some fates worse than death. "Having seen both those finale episodes, they are as emotional as they are cinematic," producer Shawn Levy recently teased in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "Holy shit, they are definitely a treat for the eyes, but they punch you right in the heart."

Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 is set to be released on Netflix on July 1. Riverdale series releases on Sundays on The CW.

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