Jaquel Spivey plays Damian, Angourie Rice plays Cady and Auli'i Cravalho plays Janis in Mean Girls
(Paramount Pictures)

Paramount Sued for Barring Server From ‘Mean Girls’ Party Because of His Weight

A New York City server is suing Paramount Pictures and The Ribbon restaurant for weight discrimination at the premiere party for Mean Girls.

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Joseph Sacchi claims the restaurant “excluded him from working at the reception because representatives from Paramount Pictures, the distributors of Mean Girls, specifically asked that he be excluded, solely based on his appearance.”

According to the lawsuit, “Paramount Representatives pointed to Mr. Sacchi during [a] walkthrough on Friday, January 5, 2024 and told The Ribbon’s managers that they did not want him working the event … Mr. Sacchi later learned that The Ribbon’s scheduling manager also made fatphobic comments about him to a coworker during the Mean Girls post-premiere reception, stating, ‘If Joe was here, how would he have moved around? It’s a full house.’”

It’s disturbing and deeply fatphobic that Paramount and The Ribbon would single out a server over their weight and exclude them from working a lucrative shift. Sacchi’s lawyers Eric Baum and Juyoun Han noted that Sacchi “experienced judgment, disapproval and discrimination that comes from inhabiting a bigger body,” adding that it is “illegal for employers to foster fatphobia in the workplace that affects employees and contractors, just like discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation constitutes a violation of the law.”

It’s all the more galling that this happened at a premiere for a film that features fat-shaming in a negative light. But of course, fatphobia has always been a part of the entertainment industry. Reneé Rapp, who plays Regina George in the movie musical, has talked about her own experience with body shaming during her Broadway run in Mean Girls. Rapp told The Guardian,  that there were people on the production who “would say some vile fucking things to me about my body.”

Sacchi’s lawyers added, “Joseph feels that it is absolutely necessary to pursue legal action in this case to stand up against weight bias and prejudice … He is hopeful that this litigation will help to set the precedent that fatphobia is unacceptable in NYC and that a person’s size is not a reflection of their ability and value.”

(via The Daily Beast)


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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.