Wednesday’s episode of Empire saw character Becky, played by Gabourey Sidibe, 32, alongside her love interest MC J Poppa – played by actor Mo McRae – in an opening scene that featured the two enjoying an intimate moment on a rooftop.
However, after the episode aired, the Oscar-nominated actress found herself to be the subject of cruel taunts online, one social media user even created a meme that used a screen shot of the love scene next to the words: ‘Damn, some of you people can’t even get a text back’.
In a blog about the episode, Gabourey told the ‘haters’, Gabourey Sidibe responded to critics who fat shamed her after she appeared in a love scene during Wednesday’s episode of Empire.
The 32-year-old actress was seen on the show alongside her character Becky ‘I’m not sure how anyone could hate on love but that’s okay. You may have your memes’
The meme appeared to imply that it was somehow surprising that Gabourey’s character could attract the attention – and the lust – of someone like MC J Poppa.
Some commenters on the posts added to the hate, writing things like ‘yuck’ and ‘now they’ve gone too far’ about the episode.
‘I, a plus sized, dark-skinned woman, had a love scene on primetime television,’ she wrote. I had the most fun ever filming that scene even though I was nervous. But I felt sexy and beautiful and I felt like I was doing a good job.
‘I’m very proud of the work we all did to make that scene a great opening for the episode. I keep hearing that people are “hating” on it. I’m not sure how anyone could hate on love but that’s okay. You may have your memes.’
She added: ‘Honestly, I’m at work too busy to check Twitter anyway. #Booked. Hope you enjoy next week’s show!’
Plenty of fans also came to the actresses defense, with one writing: ‘People are just mean. All I see is two people in love, do y’all really think big girls cannot get some action?’
Many of Gabourey’s cast mates on Empire also praised her for the scene. Co-star Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on the show, called it ‘beautiful’ and praised Gabourey for ‘owning herself’ and when told about the negative comments, said the critics should just close their eyes and turn off their TVs if they have a problem.