Sam Rubin responds to being called fat on the air

Ginger Chan reacts to accidentally calling Sam Rubin fat on live TV.

On last Friday's "KTLA Morning News," reporter Sam Rubin observed that his wife recently asked him when he became the fat guy on the show. Everybody laughed, then a voice was heard saying that Rubin has always been the show's fat guy. Turns out the quip came from traffic reporter Ginger Chan, elsewhere on the set, while she thought her microphone was off. She looked suitably horrified for a second, everybody laughed harder, and the video became fun fodder on the web for a couple of days.

Maybe not all fun. Rubin reflects on going viral and his body image in a first-person piece for headlined Do I Look Fat In This Airbrushed Picture? He reviews the media coverage, notes that morning news personalities "are expected to be upbeat, even jolly," and says no matter how unsettling it made him feel, it's much worse for the women in his business. Sample:

This “F” word is particularly loaded, because I think our definition of fat has changed over the years; mostly as many of us have gotten fatter. If you were to hook me up to a polygraph machine and ask me if I thought I was out and out fat; I would say that I wasn’t. Sure, I can stand to lose a few pounds; who couldn’t. But am I among the morbidly obese? I don’t think so….

One of my friends suggested that perhaps I am among a huge number of Americas who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Before you have to get all Web MD on this topic, BDD basically is either an inability to really see what is in the mirror; and/or to obsess on the imperfections that you do see. In the spirit of complete candor, I probably lean towards the inability to truly take in all that the mirror reveals….

The world won’t end if I am both jolly and maybe a touch jiggly, but heaven help us, if one of my female colleagues is truly heavy. There are woman on air who, like me, could stand to lose a few pounds, but that is a very rare circumstance; and in the entire 20-plus years I have worked on the air, none of my bosses have every said anything to me about my weight. I know that virtually every woman I have worked with has not been able to avoid those same conversations.

So for me, maybe I will grab one less Chips-Ahoy the next time the plate is passed; and if all of this continues to open up a discussion about the more open acceptance of various shapes and sizes on the air so much the better.

Chan and Rubin, who is maybe a pound overweight, hugged it out after the broadcast. If you don't watch the KTLA morning team much, yes, they chuckle a lot on the air.

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