Cast of Dr. Ken

Dr. Ken: Walking Away from Fat Shaming for Laughs

In a quick, but piecemeal response to the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), ABC removed fat shaming content from a comedy series called Dr. Ken that is set to premier in October, starring Ken Jeong. In a promotional trailer for the series, Jeong was shown examining a patient with obesity. When the patient asked for his diagnosis, Jeong — who is actually trained as a medical doctor — told the patient, “You’re fat.” When the patient told him that he eats relatively little, Jeong told him, “the only things fatter than you are your lies.”

On Wednesday morning, the OAC called for ABC to remove the fat shaming content. CEO Joe Nadglowski said:

After viewing the trailer for the show, it’s apparent that ABC is treating the disease of obesity as a joke, which it most certainly is not. More than 93 million Americans are affected by obesity. This disease is no laughing matter.

Pretty quickly, Jeong reached out to the OAC on Twitter with reassurance:

Ken Jeong Tweet

By the end of the day, the content was gone from ABC’s website for the show, but it was still available on the ABC’s YouTube channel. Additionally, ABC confirmed Jeong’s assurance to OAC that the fat shaming content has been removed from the pilot that will air on October 2.

James Zervios, OAC’s Vice President of Marketing and Communication, commented on the response from ABC:

Though it was a little piecemeal, we were pleased to see ABC correct their mistake. We hope they will quickly complete the task by removing the content from their YouTube channel and anywhere else they’ve posted it.

Pervasive bias against people with obesity remains a significant problem. But slowly the message is getting out that it’s becoming socially unacceptable.

Click here to read more from OAC, here to read more from TMZ, and here to read more from the Mirror.

Cast of Dr. Ken, photograph courtesy of ABC 

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September 10, 2015

2 Responses to “Dr. Ken: Walking Away from Fat Shaming for Laughs”

  1. September 10, 2015 at 8:05 am, Anthony Fabricatore said:

    While unfortunate that the scene was written and filmed in the first place, ABC’s decision to remove it is encouraging. Hats off to OAC for, once again, going to the mat for people with obesity.

    • September 10, 2015 at 8:24 am, Ted said:

      Thanks, Anthony! I’m glad that more and more people are starting to get it that fat shaming and weight bias need to go into the dustbin of unfortunate history.