Almost four years ago I chucked cable TV. I'd long since gotten my news from online papers and picked and chosen my TV and movies from streaming sources.
Fat women and men make up about two-thirds of the US population according to fearmongers yet you wouldn't know that from TV and movies. In most mainstream movies and TV (except for artsy, foreign, or comedy shows), the actors, usually just the women, are conventionally attractive like they cut from the same mold. They are usually slender, tall and made up. For example there is a recent movie called Seven Psychopaths that has seven people appearing on a movie poster. Five are men and two are women. The five men are gruff, not glamourous and distungished . The two women might as well be twins as they look perfectly the same. It's ironic because Gabourey Sidibe also appears (I'm not sure in what capacity, she seems like she's a dog sitter) but her name isn't headlined and she doesn't appear in the poster.
When I was working on my book and researching movies and TV that featured fat actors, I found roles for fat people were limited to background, side characters, or comedy only. If they were the main character they were dieting (Fried Green Tomatoes), hated themselves (Fat actress), it was a foreign or artsy film (Zuckerbaby), poor quality (More to Love) or nuts (Misery).
Flashforward eight years later where the NY Times has an article about female comedians who are fighting back against the pressure to lose weight.
Self-acceptance has become a new form of defiance on television, especially among younger female comedians. Partly that’s because it’s refreshingly unusual. There’s little comic shock value left in profanity, obscenity or intolerance, but it’s still quite rare and surprising to see a woman not obsess about her waistline.
The majority of these performers are "Hollywood Fat" and the only true discrimination they might face would be lack of roles in mainstream movies and TV. They can still buy clothes at almost any store, probably won't get a lecture from doctor, or be told they are diseased. Rebel Wilson, the only one who might fall into the latter category, is a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.
I'm glad to see actors that don't fit into the typical Hollywood cookie cutter. Mindy Kating is a very talented writer, a very funny lady and I think maybe the only Indian actress on television now that the horrible show Outsourced was cancelled. However things still haven't changed since I first researched my book. Fat actors are still background and side characters, if they are seen at all. The movies are almost always comedies. If the fat character it is the main character it's either a comedy, or the main character is emotional disturbed. For example Precious is a wonderful movie starring two amazing actresses but both are poor and uneducated. Mo'Nique's character Mary had sexually abused her daughter and is a stereotypical welfare queen.
Real change happens when we see a variety of actors on the screen and tube that are different sizes, different colors and from different backgrounds. One of the reasons I gave up cable was there was nothing on but the same cookie cutters.
So no real change to Hollywood fat.