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Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY
Published 12: 28 a.m. ET Jan. 9, 2020 | Updated 11: 26 p.m. ET Jan. 9, 2020
Jillian Michaels is accused of body-shaming Lizzo after comments she made about the artist’s weight.
Whoopi Goldberg is jumping to Lizzo’s defense after Jillian Michaels criticized the musician’s weight.
The celebrity trainer, best known for her stint on “The Biggest Loser,” stirred up controversy Wednesday during an appearance on BuzzFeed News’ “AM to DM” by questioning why Lizzo’s body is praised.
When host Alex Berg mentioned Lizzo’s body-positivity movement, Michaels interjected: “Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes.”
Michaels, 45, continued: “I love her music. My kid loves her music. But there’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad that she’s overweight.’ “
On “The View” Thursday, Goldberg called Lizzo “fabulous.”
“She is who she is … and if you don’t get it, then you don’t get it,” she said. “I’m thrilled that she’s a big-figured woman. I’m thrilled that she is and that she has no compunction about wearing whatever she wants to wear and she’s comfortable.”
Goldberg added, “So I do celebrate her.”
Co-host Joy Behar said, “Jillian Michaels is entitled to her opinion, but not everyone can be a skinny (expletive).”
Goldberg is not the only one who took issue with Michaels’ remarks about Lizzo.
Many social media users accused the fitness personality of perpetuating stereotypes and fat-shaming Lizzo, who recently quit Twitter over internet trolls and bullying.
Actress Jameela Jamil, who has emerged as a body neutrality activist, tweeted: “Just saying… MY WHOLE DAMN THIN FAMILY HAS DIABETES AND HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND PROBLEMS WITH OUR JOINTS. Why is This woman acting like she’s an MRI? Stop concern-trolling fat people and get in the bin.”
User @Connecticutting added, “We celebrate Lizzo because Lizzo unapologetically celebrates Lizzo and encourages everyone to celebrate themselves, so Jillian can (expletive) all the way off to whatever washboard ab mountain of misery she sits atop.”
Jillian Michaels dishes out new diet advice: Fast for 12 hours and eat only one snack a day
Michaels didn’t back down from the backlash. Instead, she doubled down on her statement, urging her followers to “prioritize our health.”
“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving,” she wrote in a statement posted to Instagram Wednesday evening. “I also feel strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity — heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few.”
She continued: “I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodies.”
Michaels’ comments about Lizzo come just days after the Grammy-nominated artist announced that she was taking a break from Twitter.
“Yeah I can’t do this Twitter (expletive) no more.. too many trolls,” she tweeted Sunday. “I’ll be back when I feel like it.”
Lizzo explained her decision to walk away on Instagram Live Monday, saying, “I would love to be on Twitter ’cause I could connect with you people who positively support me… not to mention spreading my own positive messages. But now I’ve gotten to a point where I’m not just dealing with Internet bullies, I’m dealing with seeing a lot of negativity on the Internet dealing with everyone.”
USA TODAY reached out to Lizzo’s and Michaels’ reps for comment.
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