Emma Thompson's Matilda 'fat suit' is being called 'degrading and dehumanising'

Emma Thompson's Matilda 'fat suit' is being called 'degrading and dehumanising'
Matilda the Musical trailer
Sony Pictures UK

A new adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl book Matilda is coming to the big screen but it has already sparked debate online as actor Emma Thompson wears a fat suit in the film.

The British actress is playing the role of Agatha Trunchbull, the evil school headmistress, in Matilda The Musical, the upcoming modern-day retelling.

A trailer for the film due to be released this December was shared last week, giving fans a taste of what they can expect.

It shows Thompson having donned a fat suit and wearing heavy facial prosthetics that make her unrecognisable.

But, it is the fat suit making her look larger than she is that many have been aggrieved by.

The issue became a talking point on the ITV show Good Morning Britain, where Peckham's Finest star Queen MoJo argued that naturally larger actors have “an energy” that others can’t replicate in a fat suit and said it can be "dehumanising and degrading" to see fat suits used.

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It seems any others agreed, arguing that fat suits should be left in 1996 when the first Matilda film came out.

One person wrote: “I can't believe someone would agree to put a thin person into this costume for Matilda the musical.

“The original was already fat phobic enough but now they put Emma Thompson into a fat suit.”

Another said: “STOP THIS. Another actor in a fat suit coming to a movie near you.

“There are fat people who can act. CAST THEM if the role is for a fat character. Ugh ugh ugh.”

Someone else wrote: “I wonder if the studio forgot that in Matilda (1996) Miss Trunchbull was an Olympian (1972, shot putter, hammer, and javelin thrower).

“She was tall, built, thick, why on earth would they go with a skinny woman in a fat suit??”

“Disappointed by the @MatildaMusical Movie trailer tbh - a fat suit on a skinny actor to make them 'scary'? Think outside the box or cast fat, it's not hard!” another person added.

However, others see no problem with Thompson donning a fat suit to play the iconic Trunchbull character.

One person argued: “A distinction should be made between fat suit performances and Emma Thompson in Matilda.

“Trunchbull is a towering, muscular former Olympic athlete, and Thompson has been outfitted accordingly.

“Yes, her costuming alters her body’s appearance. But she’s not playing a fat character.”

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