Did you know the OAC has a volunteer committee who forms our Weight Bias Task Force?
The OAC Weight Bias Task Force (WBT) identifies weight bias that occurs in the general public. It also works to engage our supporter base (including our Community Members!) to rally together and take a stand against it. We’re committed to reducing AND ending bias for good!
A Note to USA Today
In October 2018, USA Today Travel posted a short video offering tips to airline travelers who feel that their personal space has been, or is being, infringed upon. The video most notably refers to travelers of size who are affected by obesity.
The video offered practical tips such as requesting to fly later or choose a different seat. However, toward the end, it also suggested that travelers take a photo of the person affected by obesity and post it to social media in hopes that action will be taken.
Upon discovering the video mid-November, our WBT recognized that this was a clear example of weight bias. Posting pictures of others to social media is not only an invasion of privacy, but a form of discrimination based on weight.
So…we took #OACAction! Our WBT wrote a letter to USA Today on behalf of the more than 60,000 Community Members in our organization. We respectfully asked them to:
- Recognize the issue and notice weight bias at play
- Remove the video promptly from USA Today’s website
- Refer to the OAC’s Guidelines for Media Portrayals of Individuals Affected by Obesity for any future content related to individuals affected by obesity
In addition to this letter, the OAC made a call-out to USA Today on Twitter and asked the Chief Editor to remove the stigmatizing video as well as reference the OAC’s materials.
A Win against Weight Bias
The OAC is happy to share that upon voicing our concerns to USA Today, the above-mentioned video was promptly edited to remove the issue. It no longer suggests that travelers take pictures of individuals with obesity and post them to social media.
You can view the edited video by Clicking Here.
Rest assured, the OAC and its WBT are always on the lookout for weight bias — in the public, healthcare, insurance companies and more! If you see an issue you would like addressed, please submit it to us using the OAC’s Weight Bias Reporting Tool.