When Whoopi Goldberg first saw the character of Uhuru appear on her TV screen during an episode of Star Trek, she said “Look Mommy, there’s a black lady on TV!” When I started watching this season’s hit show Lost, I had a similar moment of incredulance, only I could be heard saying “Look Mommy, there’s a fat person on TV!”
Jorge Garcia plays Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, the practical yet funny plane crash survivor and one of the show’s most popular characters. He also weighs at least 250 pounds.
Sure, there have been some fat characters on TV before. Roseanne. Camryn Manheim. Half The Sopranos cast. But I’m still pleasantly shocked when I see a new overweight character appear who isn’t just there to be the butt of everyone’s jokes. (Fat Monica from Friends, I’m looking at you.)
I applaud Lost‘s creators and producers for putting an overweight person on TV who is not just the stereotypical “fat guy.” Hurley is as textured and real a character as any of his fellow survivors. More Americans are overweight than aren’t, so it’s nice to see one depicted humanly on TV.