The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Lindy West’s Big Fat Plagiarism Scandal

Posted on | March 28, 2019 | Comments Off on Lindy West’s Big Fat Plagiarism Scandal


File this one under “Annals of Leftist Autophagy.” Lindy West is a feminist who became notorious for promoting the 2015 #ShoutYourAbortion social media campaign, and she’s also a 300-pound “fat activist” who, in her 2016 memoir Shrill, asserted that America is afflicted with a “monomanical fixation on female thinness.”

Because Hollywood is desperate to appease feminists, Lindy West’s memoir got turned into a six-part series on the Hulu livestreaming network, and the problem with that — as anyone familiar with Shrill‘s hateful anti-male theme would immediately see — is that the book doesn’t easily lend itself to entertainment purposes.

To adapt Lindy West’s book to the screen, therefore, Hulu hired writers to pad out the script with scenes that are found nowhere in West’s book. And as might be expected, a plagiarism scandal ensued:

There’s a scene in Shrill . . . when Annie (played by Aidy Bryant) stands in a circle, surrounded by beautiful big naked bellies in bathing suits.
Annie hovers, shy and unsure of herself. She’s the only one not in a bathing suit and is, instead, fully covered in jeans and a blue button down shirt. She’s encouraged to dance, but waves it off. But then, after a moment’s hesitation, she starts dancing as Ariana Grande’s “One Last Time” swells. Seeing all of those beautiful fat babes dazzling in their bikinis unlocks something inside. She’s confident and comfortable and self-assured.
She’s radiant. . . .
Earlier this week, fat activist Virgie Tovar spoke out publicly against Shrill, claiming that the pool party was lifted directly from an experience she discussed in both her Tedx Talk and recent memoir, You Have the Right to Remain Fat. She called out West by name, angry at a white woman for stealing this personal moment from her past and not giving her, a woman of color, the recognition she deserves.
There’s just one problem: West did not write Episode 4 “Pool.” The episode was written by writer and humorist Samantha Irby, a queer black woman.
All three women — West, Tovar, and Irby — write and speak about their experiences as fat women. All have books to their name and strong social media platforms. For those of us, like myself, who advocate for fat acceptance and body positivity, they all carry familiar names.

Being an “advocate for fat acceptance and body positivity” in the feminist movement is an increasingly overcrowded niche — everybody’s doing it, and therefore the competition among such “advocates” is merciless. Virgie Tovar complains the left-wing “call-out culture” she tried to leverage against Lindy West got turned against her:

The fact that Lindy West or any of the other white people on Shrill team didn’t step up to take accountability and instead allowed this to become a fight between two women of color is truly despicable. . . . Irby’s actions have impacted me, have hurt me, and I know mine have hurt her too. I know that Irby’s experiences and mine are not the same, but I do know I experience racism too. Racism looks like not seeing yourself when you try to find stories that make you feel like you really exist. Racism is being told by a white woman that your work doesn’t matter enough to be part of the conversation you’ve dedicated your life to for a decade.

All it would have taken is an email, a phone call, a small payment and a writer’s credit to pacify Virgie Tovar, if the creators of the Hulu show had the presence of mind to do this in advance. But the recent boom in feminist propaganda TV means it’s amateur hour on these productions, and nobody in charge recognized that Irby had written a scene for Shrill clearly inspired by Tovar’s story. The larger issue (pardon the pun) is that feminists are reframing obesity — a serious health problem in the United States — as a sort of resistance to the patriarchy. While I have great sympathy for plump women who complain, quite rightly, about the endless bombardment of media images of skeletal fashion models, and advertisements for weight-loss products of dubious effectiveness, such legitimate complaints must be considered separately from attempts to turn “fat activism” into a political movement. To say that Lindy West (or Virgie Tovar or any other fat woman) is a victim of patriarchal oppression is transparently an effort to organize a new grievance lobby, to indoctrinate fat women with the belief that political activism is the solution to their personal problems. What this is about is recruiting constituents for the Democrat Party by convincing them that the way to fight back against fat-shaming “sexists” is to elect more Democrats.

Astute readers will note that nobody is offering book contracts or TV deals to fat men complaining about their weight problems. The progressives who control the publishing industry and Hollywood have no sympathy for fat men, or for any men at all, really. Everything for progressives is now about promoting feminism, to widen the electoral “gender gap” in favor of Democrats. Do not be deceived.



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