Sharpton spoke with TMZ this week about the lack of African-American hosts on late-night television. David Letterman officially retired on Wednesday, but many lamented that he was replaced by yet another white male, Stephen Colbert. Chris Rock even mentioned the lack of late-night diversity during his appearance on Letterman’s final show.
Al Sharpton agreed with the TMZ cameraman that more African-Americans should be on late night. And he mentioned several possible hosts, including Rock or Eddie Murphy. He then brought up Kenan Thompson — with one caveat.
“Kenan Thompson would be great if he quit imitating me,” Sharpton said. “He needs to lose weight. You can’t look like old Al, doing new Al. Come on, Kenan. Update yourself.”
“Kenan needs to lose weight, or they need to get somebody in shape to do me,” Sharpton said in October. “I might break into the studio one night and do Kenan because Kenan is too fat to do Al Sharpton. Kenan is doing an outdated Al Sharpton!”
It seems these remarks were all in fun. After all, Sharpton has known Thompson for years. The Reverend even invited Thompson onto his MSNBC series back in February, where Sharpton said he was “honored” to be impersonated by the SNL star.
Watch Al Sharpton interview Kenan Thompson below.
But during the TMZ interview, Al Sharpton may have gone too far. The Reverend said Thompson should only get a late-night show if he slimmed down. This, too, may have been stated in jest. Yet some are slamming the formerly obese Sharpton as a hypocrite.
“Take off 50 pounds, and I’ll see what I can do about getting you on late night. People can’t go to sleep looking at somebody that heavy,” Sharpton added. “It makes them get up in the middle of the night and go get a piece of cake or Kool-aid.”
Do you think Al Sharpton went too far fat-shaming Kenan Thompson? Let us know your take in the comments section below!