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Racism? Actor Kumail Nanjiani is being body shamed for being... too fit

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 06, 2021 2:52 am

While slack-jawed wonder and adulation usually greeted the ripped transformation of Hollywood actors in the past, quite the reverse happened to Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani as some people pounced on him by claiming without proof that he used steroids.

Late last year, Nanjiani bared his jacked physique which he achieved after a year of intense training and diet in preparation for his role in Marvel’s upcoming movie The Eternals.

“I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are,” Nanjiani said last month when he bared his muscular physique.

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A post shared by Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn)

“I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time,” added the actor.

Stephen Colbert even had an item in his show “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” about Nanjiani’s body transformation.

“The entire internet is thirsty about actor Kumail Nanjiani who after being cast as a Marvel character transformed his body into this towering chunk of beefsteak. Damn!” Colbert quipped. “He is putting the male in Kumail.”

But not everyone was amused. A week later, suspicion and criticism crawled out of the woodwork that is social media as some alleged on mere suspicion without citing any basis that the actor was taking steroids.

Other much more nasty tweets likened the actor to someone who had cosmetic surgery and much worse, to a mutated animal villain.

Over on YouTube, some people also began posting videos claiming the same thing, that the actor took steroids.

But users were quick to come to the actor’s defense, such as Twitter user ricci below.

Some also pointed out the difference in reception to other actors in the past, as pointed out by user @itsjustanx below.

Jacob Y Low likewise noted the double standard against Nanjiani as previous white actors who went through the same journey did not face the same scrutiny.

Twitter user @meesh_llegos pointed out how everyone was also cool before with Chris Pratt’s transformation, but not now with Nanjiani.

PavithMowli wondered if people just want non-white actors to stick to their traditional roles as geeks, doctors, and side-kicks.
 

Beyond the unwarranted controversy, Nanjiani’s transformation also stirred inspiration for some who previously did not see themselves in the traditional actors of Hollywood.