Mia Freedman ‘mortified’ by Roxane Gay podcast ‘fat shaming’ accusations

Founder of Mamamia Women’s Network Mia Freedman has issued an apology after she was accused of ‘fat shaming’ and breaching a podcast guest’s privacy when she revealed intimate details of phone calls and emails which took place ahead of the No Filter podcast recording.

Best-selling author and feminist commentator Roxane Gay appeared on Freedman’s No Filter to discuss her life story and the launch of her book Hunger, however in the introduction to the podcast Freedman disclosed details of emails and phone calls between Mamamia staff and Gay’s publicity team, which took place ahead of the interview.

The podcast description and accompanying article also played off Gay’s weight asking questions such as “Will she fit in the office lift?”

The ‘Mamammia Team’ issued an explanation and apology last night, and altered the podcast’s introduction, however until now Freedman herself has remained silent.

This afternoon, in a separate post, Freedman admitted she had made many mistakes and said she had learnt her lesson.

“The last 24 hours have been an extraordinarily searing lesson,” she said in a post on Mamamia. “I should never have been so cavalier in revealing details about my interview with Roxane Gay that should have remained private. I understand that now.

“I made many mistakes. The first and worst was not understanding the difference between Roxane writing her book, Hunger, about her experiences and difficulties of trying to navigate the world and me talking about that experience from the outside, from my perspective.

“I mistakenly assumed that because she spoke about it, I could too. But this is not my story to tell and I should not have included it in the intro to the podcast or the podcast description. It was disrespectful and it upset her and for that I am deeply, deeply sorry. Unconditionally sorry.”

The unconditional apology comes after backlash to the Mamamia Team’s post last night, which many felt was not sufficiently remorseful.

Much of the criticism lobbed at Freedman and Mamamia questioned how a site which purports to promote feminism, equality and positive body image could exploit a guest in this manner, which Freedman also addressed in her apology.

“Reading Roxane’s book hunger taught me so much and opened my eyes to what life can be like for her and other women of her size. Because they are so much more than that,” she said.

“It’s something I’ve fought for my entire career in the media, a more diverse portrayal of women. More acceptance for different body shapes. An end to body shaming. The irony of me upsetting and distressing someone who has been so influential and instrumental in the way I view feminism and body image is not lost on me. I am beyond mortified, horrified and ashamed that I could have, in any way contributed to Roxane Gay feeling anything other than fierce, brilliant and beautiful. Because that’s what she is and that is what I’ve always thought her to be.”

Freedman then encouraged Mamamia readers to purchase Gay’s book Hunger.


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