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Last week, Rebel Wilson incorrectly claimed to be the first plus-sized actress to star in a rom-com, and she keeps blocking people on Twitter who point out the Black actresses who came before her.
On the Ellen Degeneres Show on Halloween, Wilson said she was the “first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.” People quickly took to Twitter to make sure that Wilson was aware of the works of Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique, two plus-sized Black women who starred in romantic comedies over a decade ago.
Wilson mostly didn’t interact with these critiques—though she did reply to one person saying she thought those movies were in a “grey area.”
Hey girl! Yeah I of course know of these movies but it was questionable as to whether: 1. Technically those actresses were plus size when filming those movies or 2. Technically those films are catorgorized/billed as a studio rom-com with a sole lead. So there’s a slight grey area— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 1, 2018
What Wilson appears to mostly be doing in response to these critiques is blocking people. She’s hit the block button on enough people that there’s even a hashtag, #RebelWilsonBlockedMe. A perusal of the hashtag shows what Wilson found offending enough to deserve a block—and her threshold doesn’t seem very high.
I shared my honest & respectful thoughts on Rebel Wilson’s erasure of iconic plus sized women before her.— Nabela (@Nabela) November 3, 2018
Her blocking a fellow plus woman in this industry is a reminder that she doesn’t want to acknowledge her plus peers but rather ignore them entirely. pic.twitter.com/icUvY9QrCR
I was joined in blockage. For this. She's quite fragile. pic.twitter.com/7QePMtbden— Aisha Saeed (@aishacs) November 3, 2018
So many people were blocked by Wilson that one person made a thread of folks who had been blocked, saying they were all a part of the party. Several dozen people have been blocked, many of them Twitter-verified Black people and plus-sized people in the entertainment industry.
Some people even jokingly talked about the #RebelWilsonBlockedMe hashtag as if it was a club or networking event for Black Twitter.
Rebel Wilson’s block list is the closest we’re ever going to get to an official roster for black Twitter— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) November 5, 2018
Wilson did respond to Mo’Nique when she directly reached out, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped her from blocking people for saying exactly what Mo’Nique is saying.
Hi Monique, it was never my intention to erase anyone else’s achievements and I adore you and Queen Latifah so so much x I support all plus size ladies and everything positive we are doing together ❤️— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 3, 2018
All jokes aside, Wilson’s erasure is damaging and blocking plus-sized women of color for pointing that out only makes it worse. Film critic ReBecca Theodore-Vachon summed up the deeper problem of Wilson’s claim and behavior succinctly, saying, “Black women’s bodies don’t matter when it comes to White women like Rebel Wilson. They will always value their representation more while erasing ours.”
...but really it comes down to this - Black women’s bodies don’t matter when it comes to White women like Rebel Wilson. They will always value their representation more while erasing ours. She and that movie... pic.twitter.com/1qbno2zgjW— ReBecca “Rebel Wilson Blocked Me” Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) November 2, 2018
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.