Marlo Thomas has addressed a remark she made to Sherri Shepherd about her weight, apologising to the TV host for body-shaming her.
The 84-year-old discussed her conversation with Shepherd while appearing on Fox 5’s Good Day New York on Thursday. Her apology comes a few days after her appearance on Sherri, when she noticed Shepherd’s weight loss and told the host that she “used to be a big woman”. Thomas then changed her face and widened her arms in an attempt to show Shepherd’s previous size.
During her interview on the Fox program, Thomas expressed how much she “loves” Shepherd and clarified what she intended with her comment.
“I am so sorry about that,” she said. “I love her, and I thought I was giving a compliment. I said, ‘Wow, you’ve really lost weight.’ I didn’t realise you’re not supposed to do that.”
She went on to poke fun at how this experience will impact her future conversations about how someone looks.
“I learned my lesson. I’m never doing that again, I’m never going to tell you how good you look. Never,” she jokingly told anchor Rosanna Scotto.
Earlier this week, Thomas faced widespread backlash for her remark about Shepherd. Viewers on Sherri’s YouTube page said that the comment was an “insult” and not a good “joke”. A source also told Page Six that staffers on the talk show were not pleased with what Thomas said.
“Sherri was a good sport, but people [at the show] are very protective of her,” the source said. “People were not happy that she fat shamed her on national TV. It was like a slap in the face.”
According to the That Girl star, Shepherd called her after the interview and said that she didn’t know what all of the backlash “was about”. Thomas said that she then told her not to “worry” about it, before explaining that she could see why viewers were offended.
“That’s a new thing, and I certainly understand it,” she said on Good Day New York. “I’m so sorry. I never meant to offend anything.”
Thomas also clarified that she “didn’t offend” Shepherd during the interview and that the pair were on good terms.
“She came and jumped over on the couch and hugged me, and she just asked me to come back in November to do a St. Jude piece, so, you know, we’re fine,” the social activist added.
During her appearance on Sherri earlier this week, Thomas also acknowledged how “beautiful” the TV host is. After Shepherd said that she’s lost “35 pounds,” Thomas made the remark about how the comedian used to be a “big woman”. Shepherd didn’t appear to be offended by it and responded by laughing before moving closer to Thomas on the couch.
On Twitter, many viewers praised Shepherd for her reaction to Thomas’ comment, one of which wrote: “At least you know @MarloThomas keeps it real @sherrieshepherd she said when I interviewed you for my AOL show you were a big woman but you still got the boobies lmao I almost fell out my chair laughing.”
Shepherd seemed to find humour in the situation and responded to the tweet, writing: “You never know what’s gonna happen on #Sherri!”
The Independent has contacted representative for Shepherd and Thomas for comment.