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Twitch streamer said obese people should be 'shamed' because 'it's bad for them' during livestream

Business Insider US
The streamer, known as Fanfan, initially doubled down on her comments, but later apologized.
  • Twitch streamer Fanfan has apologised after a clip of her making comments about obesity went viral.
  • On December 15, she said obese people should be shamed and put in a "roped-off area" like smokers.
  • Following backlash, she apologised for the phrasing but added obesity shouldn't be "glorified."
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A Twitch streamer has apologised after a clip of her saying obese people should be "shamed" went viral, sparking backlash.

Fiona Fan, known as "Fanfan" on Twitch, is a streamer who usually posts under the "Just Chatting" category, sharing anecdotes about her life and discussing current affairs with her 50,200 followers. She also has a YouTube channel with 8,220 subscribers, where she reposts clips from her Twitch streams as well as vlogs.

Fan came under fire when she talked about obesity during a stream on December 15, in which she said, "When you go to a hotel, and they have a roped-off area for smoking, a dedicated smoking area, why don't they fucking have that for obese people?"

She continued, "Why do we not shame people who are morbidly obese? It's bad for them!"

Later on in the stream, as negative comments were posted in real-time, she added, "The whole thing that I was saying was that we should not be glorifying people who are morbidly obese, which makes sense, doesn't it?" She added that obesity could "cause health issues."

She also compared obesity to anorexia, saying "eating disorders shouldn't be glorified," and said her comments about "shaming" obese people were "clipped out of context" to remove her comparison between obesity and smoking.

She continued, "Obesity should be considered an addiction — eating, eating until you are morbidly obese should be considered an addiction."

Categorising people as "obese" or "overweight" according to their BMI (body mass index) has long been criticised as it fails to take into account body fat percentage or distribution. Some studies have found a correlation between being overweight or obese and certain health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. But the assumption that weight can automatically be a measure of health has been contested by various experts who argue that it ignores the importance of mental health which can be negatively impacted by being encouraged to lose weight.

Fan's original clip has amassed 240,000 views on Twitch and was shared on the subreddit r/LivestreamFail, which has 1.3 million members who share clips, commentary, and news about streamers. The reaction was mostly negative, with several users saying Fan was presenting a double standard by accusing obese people of being unhealthy because she appears to be vaping throughout the stream, which experts argue can be just as harmful as smoking.

On December 19, Fan addressed the backlash again on her YouTube channel in a video entitled "about the drama..."

In the video, she said, "I was talking about unhealthy behaviour related to food addiction, and I have my own opinion that people may not agree with which is perfectly fine. However, my opinion is not that obese people should be shamed it's that they shouldn't be glorified. You know, we shouldn't be seeing obesity as just some alternate lifestyle that's just as healthy."

She also said that the comment was a reference to a joke by comedian Jim Jefferies because she found it "funny."

"I'm not going to give you some disingenuous apology because I don't think it's wrong to have an unpopular opinion," she said. "However, I am sorry about the way I phrased the 25-second clip portion, and I am sorry that it came off as if I thought obese people deserve to be shamed because I don't think that at all. That's not what I believe at all."

Fan did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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