Former X Factor host Kate Thornton has sent a message of support to a Season 1 show contestant after a brutal body-shaming clip went viral on Twitter this weekend.
Speaking today at a taping of BUILD LDN, Kate described the clip as “absolutely unacceptable”.
“Wherever [Sam] is now, I hope her child is blossoming and her life is great,” Kate said. “And the only thing that she should be worried about in terms of size is the size of her brain and her heart, because those are the things you should measure people by.”
The X Factor clip – which features Samantha Reay – was from 2004, but resurfaced two days ago when Twitter user Russell Hayward posted it, saying he couldn’t believe how harsh the judges used to be.
“Imagine the uproar if they said this now,” he wrote. His video has since been viewed over a million times.
I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW HARSH THEY USED TO BE ON THE X FACTOR. This poor woman 😩 Imagine the uproar if they said this now pic.twitter.com/23AjisZSjz
— 🥃Russell (@RussellHayward) January 10, 2019
In it, Sam is told she’s “nothing special” by Louis Walsh, before Simon Cowell tells her she “looked like shop girl”.
After vowing to work on her image, Simon cuts her down again, saying: “Well, it’s a lot of work.”
“I know what you’re saying, that I’m overweight basically,” Sam says, before Simon responds: “You are. You really are.” And Sharon Osbourne delivers the final kick: “Mrs, go on a diet.”
Speaking more about her own experiences with body-shaming on the show, Kate added that she was pleased that there is now a defiance around that sort of narrative on TV.
“What I am pleased about is the fact that that kind of language and behaviour is no longer tolerated,” she said. “And that’s a good thing.”
Sam, who has joined Twitter since the video went viral, sent a message to Russell saying: “It was brutal looking back, but like a good wine I got better with age.”
We agree, hun!
See Kate’s full message for Sam in this video: