Does British baker Mary Berry have a problem with overweight people?
She’s never said as much explicitly, but certain insensitive comments have some fans questioning if Berry is sympathetic to people who struggle with their weight. This popular television personality, who recently appeared in a Christmas special alongside Prince William and Kate Middleton, can’t seem to keep her opinion to herself and she doesn’t have very nice things to say.
Here’s why fans are feeling a bit offended over what Berry has said about overweight people in the past.
Berry is a British baking legend
Berry, whose real name is Mary Rosa Alleyne Hunnings, got her start early while experimenting with domestic arts in high school. She went on to study catering in college before moving to France to attend the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school.
Now she’s published more than 75 cookbooks and hosted several popular baking shows in the United Kingdom, including Mary Berry Cooks and The Great British Baking Show alongside Paul Hollywood. Fans see her as a kindly grandmother sort who’s an absolute whiz in the kitchen.
But not all of Berry’s public statements are so sweet and innocent.
She made several shocking comments about overweight peers
The first offense occurred when Berry made a rude comment about Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw during an appearance on her show.
While the two were discussing Outlaw’s childhood and how he loved windsurfing while growing up by the ocean, Berry replied with a shocked tone. “You, windsurfing?” she said. “You must go very fast…bit of weight on that board!”
Later in the episode, she made yet another harsh comment when Outlaw was talking about how he crushes garlic. “There’s a bit of pressure going down there!” Berry said while chuckling and patting Outlaw’s back, indicating that his weight would help the process.
Fans were horrified that she would say something so unkind to a respected culinary professional.
Berry advocated for discriminating against overweight judges
Her comments about Outlaw weren’t even the first time Berry came under fire for her insensitivity toward larger figured individuals.
In 2015, Berry was in hot water for comments she made during an interview with Sunday Times. When questioned, she openly advocated selecting trimmer judges instead of overweight people regardless of their qualifications.
“You don’t want somebody who’s judging cakes to be large,” she said in the interview. “Or else people will say, ‘Look what happens when you eat cake.’”
Meanwhile, Berry bragged about her own success with maintaining a trim figure. “I eat carefully because people don’t want to see a large person judging cakes,” she explained.
Berry may not realize the harm her comments are causing
Besides these few instances, Berry seems like a very sweet, accepting person who doesn’t have a grudge against anyone, including overweight folks. But she may not realize the harm her little remarks are causing to people who might struggle with weight.
For his part, chef Outlaw never addressed the potentially hurtful digs that Berry made when he came on her show. But with so many negative fan reactions, it seems wise for Berry to be more cautious with her words in the future.