'Stranger Things' star Shannon Purser claims 'fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility'

Shannon Purser said 'fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility'. (Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)
Shannon Purser said 'fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility'. (Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

Stranger Things star Shannon Purser has said overweight actors “aren’t allowed upward mobility”.

The 24-year-old – who is best known for playing Barbara "Barb" Holland in the Netflix hit – also said heavier actors are not being cast as “iconic fat characters” because bosses are after stars with big names instead.

Her comments were made in the same week that images of Emma Thompson wearing a prosthetic fat suit for a new adaptation of Matilda sparked a backlash.

Read more: Stranger Things child cast growing up takes show into horror territory

Purser tweeted: “They’re not hiring fat actors for iconic fat characters because they want a big name star.

“There are almost no fat big name stars because fat actors aren’t allowed upward mobility.”

“We aren’t allowed upward mobility because the industry sees us as two-dimensional set pieces,” she added.

Purser’s comments triggered a debate on Twitter.

Some fans disagreed and said that they could name several larger A-listers.

However, others thought she was right.

“Totally agree!” one person tweeted. “The industry has been off base for a long time. Go Sharon!”

‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Riverdale’ actress Shannon Purser comes out as bisexual
Shannon Purser played Barb in Stranger Things. (Netflix)

“This is mostly true for actresses,” said another.

“Men are cast as leads despite their size.”

It comes amid controversy over Thompson’s role as Miss Trunchbull in a new version of Roald Dahl’s tale.

The star was seen in a fatusit in a new trailer and it has started a conversation about whether the use of a suit and prosthetics deprives a plus-sized actor of a role.

Emma Thompson as Agatha Trunchbull. (Sony Pictures)
Emma Thompson as Agatha Trunchbull. (Sony Pictures)

Purser found fame starring in Stranger Things between 2016 and 2017.

Read More: Stranger Things S4 review: Netflix series is another polished slice of nostalgia

Her other TV credits include Riverdale and Rise and she starred in the 2018 film Sierra Burgess Is A Loser.

Watch: Kate Bush 'shocked' by Running Up That Hill's success through Stranger Things