The Howard Stern Show is great if you're looking for controversial sound bites. The four-hour radio show covers a lot of ground with each episode, and almost always provides some bizarre quote that listeners then have to pick apart. For example, Stern recently decided to take a shot at actor Russell Crowe, 52. Allegedly, in a news commentary segment, Stern brought up Crowe's body. Comparing himself to the Les Misérables actor, the radio host claimed that he himself works hard to "stay thin and in shape." (This sound bite, salacious as it is, cannot be found on the show's SoundCloud account.)
The joke was in reference to recent photos that surfaced of Crowe in Sydney, with outlets reporting that the actor has "let himself go." This, in and of itself, is problematic — no one's body should be subject to public commentary. That Stern commented on the report is pretty in character, but it's still frustrating.
It seems Crowe has a good attitude toward the remarks, though. When an astute listener pointed out the 63-year-old's criticisms, the Gladiator actor fired back with a well-placed jibe.
Crowe successfully defended himself, but that doesn't excuse Stern's original body-shaming. The argument could be made that in putting down Stern, Crowe is just perpetuating the original behavior. The issue isn't who can bench-press more weight. The issue is that Russell Crowe and the rest of Hollywood, and probably most the people around you, have been subject to this kind of useless criticism. Chris Pratt was recently forced to make a similar online statement when fans criticized his "skeletal" appearance. Girls creator Lena Dunham — whom Stern once called a "a little fat girl who looks like Jonah Hill" — has been subject to scrutiny recently due to a perceived weight loss. (There have been both negative and positive opinions on the change.)
Let's recap the clear takeaway here: People should really stop talking about others' weight. Lena Dunham's, Chris Pratt's, Russell Crowe's, and literally everyone else's.