Chris Sullivan thinks people should have better things to be worried about than whether or not he wears a fat suit for his character of Toby on the hit drama This Is Us.
The 37-year-old actor opened up about the controversy on Watch What Happens Live where he stated it seemed as if people just needed to find something to be mad at. “I think that the show is just too good; they had to find something wrong with it.”
He added, “We currently live in a culture where outrage is a bit of a hobby for some people. If they’re not outraged about something, they’re totally bored. It’s a tool. It’s a costume that I put on. Logistically speaking, it allows me to travel back and forth through time when Toby was not as heavy as he is now.”
The actor also talked about the backlash in other interviews, stating, “There is a lot of things to be outraged about these days, and I think that getting outraged about an actor on a television show who may be wearing a costume that makes him larger than he is, might be low on the list.”
Sullivan also told PEOPLE Now, he would be more open to the criticism if it were about his actual performance, “You know, there are different requirements for an actor for different roles,” he says. “As you’ll find in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I’m not actually a space alien. As you’ll find for Milo Ventimiglia, he’s not actually a father. And I think that if people actually had a problem with the way that I was representing this character, or had a problem with the integrity of the character, or the way I was treating this character, then I would really like to have a conversation.”
The controversy started after his co-star Susan Kelechi Watson revealed he does wear a fat suit, and his on-screen fiancee Chrissy Metz came to his defense, stating, “We tested a lot of gentlemen who were bigger, and I get it — people think authenticity is kind of ruined by that. But Chris has been heavier, so I think he understands the plight of being overweight. Also he was just the best man for the job. And people wear prosthetics all the time — it’s just weight as opposed to like, a nose or a chin. It’s just kind of the name of the game.”