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Are Fat Suits the New Blackface?

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A new version of Hairspray is due out in theaters next week. What makes Hollywood think it can outdo the popular Broadway musical based on John Waters' 1988 film? Well, they’ve got a gimmick: John Travolta in a fat suit.

The 53-year-old actor plays Edna, the plump mother of hefty dance wannabe Tracy Turnblad. Apparently, casting an actual full-bodied woman into a leading role is the new taboo in the movie industry, because Travolta is yet another aging male actor who has dressed up as a loud, overweight women for laughs. – Jared Jacang Maher

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.