Mamamia Labelled “Shit Show” As Guest Left Humiliated After Being Called “Super Morbidly Obese”

Mamamia Labelled “Shit Show” As Guest Left Humiliated After Being Called “Super Morbidly Obese”
SHARE
THIS



In one of the media clangers of 2017, mums website Mamamia has labelled a guest on its podcast show as “super morbidly obese” and then pondered: “Can she fit into the lift?”

The clanger, the work of Mamamia’s founder Mia Freedman (below), centred around a podcast interview with American author and feminist Roxane Gay (in main picture) who is in Australia to promote her latest book Hunger: A Memoir of My Body.

Mia_Freedman

Gay, who has gained international fame for talking about her size and battles with overeating, has labelled Mamamia’s exchange as “cruel and humiliating”.

Mia’s mea culpa all began prior to the interview when Freedman decided to post details of the preparations for Gay’s visit to the Mamamia offices.

“A lot of planning has to go into a visit from best-selling author Roxane Gay,” read the description on the podcast episode.

“Will she fit into the office lift? How many steps will she have to take to get to the interview? Is there a comfortable chair that will accommodate her six-foot-three, ‘super-morbidly obese’ frame?”

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 7.34.49 am

“I estimate that there were a dozen exchanges back and forth between my producer and her people and the details of them both broke my heart and opened my eyes,” Freedman said.

“Now, I would normally never breach the confidence of what goes on behind the scenes of organising an interview, but in this case, I’ve thought a lot about it and the fundamental part of her story and what her book is about. She writes about it in the book, I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you any of this.

“Her size is incredibly imposing. This is a logistical nightmare for her, there’s no other way to put it. The requirements that we had to go back and forth with her publishers … were extremely detailed.”

“How many steps were there from the kerb to the end of the building? Were there any stairs? How many? How big was the lift and was there a goods lift? How many steps from the lift to the podcast studio?

“There was also a lot of talk about chairs – making sure we had one sturdy enough that would both hold her weight and make sure she was comfortable for the duration of the interview.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 7.38.24 am

When Gay realised Freedman had leaked the details of the preparations of appearance she was livid, tweeting: “I am appalled by Mamamia. It was a shit show. I can walk a fucking mile.

“Can she fit into the lift?’ Shame on you @Mamamia. It is cruel and humiliating.”

Mamamia has since apologised saying it was “deeply apologetic that in this instance we’ve missed the mark in contributing to this discussion”.

You can read the full apology below:

As a publisher that’s championed body diversity and representation in the media we’re deeply apologetic that in this instance we’ve missed the mark in contributing to this discussion. We believe the conversations sparked by Roxane’s book are vitally important for women to have, and are disappointed our execution hasn’t contributed in the way we intended …

In no way did Mamamia ever intend to make Roxane Gay feel disrespected and we apologise unequivocally that that was the unintended consequence, including to her publishing team who organised the visit and made the requests in good faith. We are mortified to think she would ever believe this to be the case or that we have upset someone we so deeply admire and respect.

As soon as we became aware of her feelings about it, we took down the written post, edited the podcast intro and changed the podcast description to remove all references to the questions asked by her publishers and about details she said she found upsetting.

 

Latest News

Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions To The Rule’ Recruitment Program Now Open
  • Advertising

Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions To The Rule’ Recruitment Program Now Open

The annual search for Australia’s best and brightest talent has launched today through Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Exceptions to the Rule’ program, with applications open for placements across Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Sydney. ‘Exceptions to the Rule’ is a commitment to the agency’s belief that the future leaders of the creative industry aren’t solely coming through traditional […]

The Six Types Of Meetings People Despise
  • Media

The Six Types Of Meetings People Despise

Donna McGeorge (pictured below) is a speaker, author and mentor who helps people make their work work. She is also author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact. In this guest post, McGeorge says most of us despise the office meeting and here’s the six worst types… I once heard a very senior leader […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Mango Melbourne Announces Three New PR & Event Hires
  • Marketing

Mango Melbourne Announces Three New PR & Event Hires

Mango Melbourne, part of the DDB Group, has welcomed three new team members following recent business growth. Carol Laws (right in photo), Janette Henstridge (left) and Maddie Poulson (middle) bring with them experience across PR and events, in sectors including consumer, retail, telecommunications and fashion. An account director with previous roles at Kate & Co […]

Why Curiosity Matters In Leadership
  • Opinion

Why Curiosity Matters In Leadership

Corrine Armour (pictured below) is a leadership expert who helps leaders and organisations develop fearless leadership and deliver transformational results. Armour is also the author of Leaders Who Ask: Building Fearless Cultures by telling less and asking more. In this guest post, she asks are you a genuinely curious leader or just a judgemental one? Curiosity creates […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Businesswoman hand connecting jigsaw puzzle, Business solutions, success and strategy concept
  • Media

Tealium Partners With The Lumery

Tealium, the leader in real-time customer data orchestration solutions, and The Lumery, a full-service customer experience agency, have partnered to bring to life the vision of a full MarTech ecosystem for Vocus Communications. Vocus recognised a huge opportunity for growth through the digitisation of their consumer brands. As such, Vocus has begun the process of […]

McCann Names New MD For Melbourne
  • Advertising

McCann Names New MD For Melbourne

McCann's new Melbourne MD is promising sweeping changes. Well, at the very least delicate carpet shampoo changes.