While watching tonight’s episode of Empire, there were many moments that made me uncomfortable. Like when Cookie held a gun to someone’s temple. Or when Lucious tossed out misogynistic aspersions. Or how about when the Lyon patriarch advocates murder if it’ll help his son “grow some balls”?
Yes, there were many moments in tonight’s episode that troubled me, but Gabourey Sidibe’s character, Becky, getting some action from rapper J. Poppa was not one of them. In fact, I was sending out a proverbial fist bump to Sidibe and her fictional alter ego — get it, girls.
— Dionne Ayanna (@DionneAyanna) November 5, 2015
So when I hopped on Twitter after the CMA Awards to see what others thought of tonight’s episode of Empire, I was shocked to see a slew of comments centered on Becky’s love scene. Only, shocked doesn’t aptly describe the visceral punch in the gut I felt while reading the commentary. I think the word I’m actually looking for is disgusted.
Because it’s official: there are a lot of hateful, awful people in the world with ugliness in their hearts.
"He's hitting all the walls." Becky nasty 😂😂😂💀 #Empire
— Dji ♉️ (@_iDoWhatever) November 5, 2015
— Power 105.1 (@Power1051) November 5, 2015
— Kenny Kixx™ (@KennyKixx) November 5, 2015
— Tonto_Kawalski (@TONTOKAWALSKI) November 5, 2015
— Erica (@msenallen) October 22, 2015
The problem this particular segment of viewers had was apparently in being forced to endure an episode in which a fuller-figured gal like Sidibe was seen in a sexual light. These detractors obviously never learned (a) if they don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all and (b) big girls have sex, too. Not only is it natural, but it’s also pretty badass for Empire to present the scene in such a nonchalant, body positive manner.
As one of the most underrated characters on the show, Becky certainly deserves to have a little fun. The fact that it is with J. Poppa — who is hot and sweet and talented — is a bonus. What’s with all the negativity?
It’s disheartening to know there are people out there who have these disparaging thoughts about a person based solely on their size, and even more disheartening that they feel the need to express those thoughts in the public sphere.
What exactly are they accomplishing, other than putting more negativity out into the world? Meanwhile, Sidibe is accomplishing something. A whole lot of something. Not only is the 32-year-old Brooklyn native starring in what is arguably the hottest show on TV right now, but let’s not forget she was nominated for an Oscar for her star-making role in Precious.
She has talent, yes. But we shouldn’t even have to use it to — what? Justify her getting a sex scene? We shouldn’t bat an eye when Sidibe starts vibing with some dude on-screen, especially in light of the fact that there have been so many hookups already this season.
Sidibe is an exceptional talent, absolutely, but in this regard, she’s no different than any of the rest of us: She’s a human being with certain, ahem, needs that need to be filled. As is her character, obviously. News alert to the haters: Every single person that has sex isn’t going to have the same body type or skin color or height or anything else. That would be boring. And, to be honest, weird.
So props to Empire for not playing into some tired idea that there is any one type of person who should be seen in that capacity on-screen. And as for Sidibe, I reiterate… get it, girl. Get it.