Madison Vanderberg
June 13, 2018 12:42 pm

Debra Messing is a national treasure. She brought Grace Adler into our lives and has been loud and proud throughout the #MeToo and #TimesUp movementsMessing famously confronted E! News about its pay inequality at the 2018 Golden Globes, and she’s continued to be vocal and transparent about inequities she’s faced and seen during her life in Hollywood, including the time she was forced to wear “fake boobs.”

In an interview with Sharon Stone for Variety‘s Actors on Actors series, Messing got real about Hollywood’s narrow and oppressive beauty standards, and how a network president demanded that she increase her bustline.

“I had to wear fake boobs when I first started in Hollywood on my first sitcom,” Messing told Stone. "They gave me cutlets and I had just graduated with my masters from NYU for acting and I was like, 'I'm an actress!' and they're like, 'here.'"

Messing said the breast cutlets made her “look stupid,” and she told producers she wouldn’t wear them. Unfortunately, they didn’t respect her wishes.

"They go, ‘The president of the network called and said he wants you to wear those.' I was in shock," she recalled. "I was new to the industry and I just thought I can’t say no, you know? Now, no one comes at me with those things. I’m like, ‘I’m flat-chested, I love it.'”

Everyone is free to embrace their chest as it is or plump it up with cutlets, but Messing was given no choice in the matter, was told that her career depended on changing her appearance, and was made to feel powerless over her own body.

Listen, we’re not going to call out or shame a specific production, but Messing’s IMDb page is here, and you can browse and guess which “first sitcom” she’s referring to.

Keep on talking, everyone. The more stories like these are told, the harder it will be for Hollywood — or any industry — to keep its discriminatory behavior hidden.

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