Love Actually fatphobia

‘It’s not funny’: Love Actually’s creator has finally addressed the film’s fatphobia

Justice for Natalie

It’s literally been cold in Britain for one day and we’re already thinking about Christmas. Honestly, what else is there? Anyway, one staple of the rapidly approaching festive season is, obviously, Love Actually— a film which becomes a harder watch every year it ages thanks to a number of jokes in it which have aged worse than milk.

But the film’s writer and creator Richard Curtis finally addressed the movie’s now controversial script this week, thanks to his 28-year-old daughter Scarlett: “As your daughter, I can confirm that you’re a wonderful man, and I like to think I’ve taught you a lot about feminism. So this is by no means the moment I cancel my dad live on stage,” she said at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. “But in the last few years, there has been growing criticism from a lot of people about the ways your film, in particular, treated women of colour.”

In Love Actually, Natalie is called “plumpy” has “thighs the size of tree trunks” and has a “sizeable arse,” according to her colleagues. Similarly, when he co-wrote the script for Bridget Jones, Richard included jokes about her “tree trunk thighs”. Scarlett critiqued: “She’s just a very skinny white woman.”

Continuing to list the other controversies over her father’s films, Scarlett continued: “Multiple counts of inappropriate male behaviour in Love Actually including the actual prime minister; a general feeling that women are visions of unattainable loveliness; and the noticeable lack of people of colour in a film called Notting Hill, which was quite literally one of the birthplaces of the British black civil rights movement…Are there things you wish you’d done differently?”

Richard responded: “In my generation, calling someone chubby [was funny] — in Love Actually there were jokes about that. Those jokes aren’t any longer funny. I don’t feel I was malicious at the time, but I feel I was unobservant and not as clever as I should have been,” he said.

Addressing his films’ lack of diversity he added: “I wish I’d been ahead of the curve. Because I came from a very undiverse school and a bunch of university friends, I think that I’ve hung on to the diversity issue to the feeling that I wouldn’t know how to write those parts. I think I was just sort of stupid and wrong about that.”

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Featured image credit via Universal