Emily Blunt has issued an apology for remarks she made in a 2012 interview about a restaurant server’s appearance, which have been branded “fatphobic”.
Resurfaced footage circulated on social media shows the British actor on The Johnathan Ross Show, during which she refers to a Chili’s worker as “enormous” and jokes that she probably ate at the restaurant for free.
The story was meant to be about how the server was surprised to see Blunt at the restaurant chain in Louisiana, where she was shooting the movie Looper.
However, Blunt opened her anecdote by making a number of comments about the server’s size, claiming: “The girl who was serving me was enormous. I think she got freebie meals at Chili’s.”
Ross appeared to push back at Blunt’s remarks, responding: “Nothing wrong with that.”
Blunt then continued her story about the restaurant experience, recalling that the Chili’s worker asked her: “Did anyone ever tell you you look like Emily Blunt?”
The Jungle Cruise star explained that she told the server she was indeed the actor, and told the Chili’s worker she was at the chain restaurant in Louisiana because she was filming her 2012 movie, Looper. Blunt recalled that the Chili’s worker believed she “made up” the name of the movie, to which the actor responded: “I really didn’t.”
As the clip resurfaced on social media last week, Blunt was condemned for making the negative remark about the server’s weight and accused of being “fatphobic”.
“Ugh f*** Emily Blunt seriously was one of my fave actresses but turns out she’s a fatphobic unfunny mean girl who thinks it’s funny to point out the size of a server when it adds nothing to the story - for shame,” one person wrote on X/Twitter.
Others questioned why Blunt had felt compelled to make any kind of comment about the woman’s size, given it was irrelevant to her story.
“It’s not surprising to hear actors be openly fatphobic, because that’s the world we live in. It doesn’t make it any less disappointing. There is no need to bring up someone’s size or comment on it, especially for laughs. Shame on you,” one wrote.
In a statement issued to The Independent on 20 October, the actor apologised for her remarks and said she regretted making them.
“I just need to address this head on as my jaw was on the floor watching this clip from 12 years ago. I’m appalled that I would say something so insensitive, hurtful, and unrelated to whatever story I was trying to tell on a talk show,” she said.
“I’ve always considered myself someone who wouldn’t dream of upsetting anyone so whatever possessed me to say anything like this in that moment is unrecognisable to me or anything I stand for. And yet it happened, and I said it and I’m so sorry for any hurt caused. I was absolutely old enough to know better.”