Will Gabourey Sidibe's Size Limit Her Career?

Oprah says "Precious" star has bright career ahead; Howard Stern disagrees.

ByABC News
March 10, 2010, 5:16 PM

Mar. 11, 2010— -- Introducing best actress nominee Gabourey Sidibe at the Oscars, "Precious" producer Oprah Winfrey called her a "true American Cinderella on the threshold of a brilliant new career."

The next day, Howard Stern attacked the "Precious" star on his Sirius radio show, calling her the "most enormous, fat black chick I've ever seen," and said Winfrey is a liar for "telling an enormous woman the size of a planet that she's going to have a career."

Who's right?

Sidibe, 26, may be proving Stern wrong. She's been cast as a student opposite Laura Linney in the new Showtime series "The C Word" and her next big-screen appearance will be opposite Zoe Kravitz in the upcoming drama, "Yelling to the Sky."

Hollywood watchers tend to agree with Winfrey, that Sidibe has a bright future ahead and what happens now will depend more on her talent than her size.

New York casting director Bernard Telsey said Sidibe's size is both a plus and minus.

"It's going to make her not right for the new 'Romeo and Juliet,' but it's going to make her right for the role that needs her for that specificity," Telsey told ABCNews.com.

"There's room in Hollywood for someone who looks like her," Telsey said. "Sure, there will be fewer roles, but there's always less of everything for people who are unique and original and different."

Greg Kilday, film editor for The Hollywood Reporter, said Hollywood will have to think creatively to find roles for Sidibe.

"And Hollywood isn't always creative," he told ABCNews.com. "To try to find roles that she will fit well in is going to be tricky. She may, in some senses, find herself competing with Jennifer Hudson, who already has an Oscar under her belt. Hudson hasn't done much in the way of film work since 'Dreamgirls.' I think Gabourey might face the same challenges."