Professor Sparks Outrage With Fat-Shaming Tweet

June 6, 2013

by Tammy J. Colter

Geoffrey Miller may be a well-known professor and author but he sure didn't use his smarts when he recently sent out a fat-shaming tweet that he now wishes he could take back. Miller is a full-time professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) but is currently a visiting New York University (NYU) evolutionary psychology professor. He tweeted:

geoffrey miller tweet [email protected] Mon Jun 03 17:01:13 -0600 2013 1370300473 FILENAME: 153576.jpg

His downright offensive tweet rightfully sparked an outrage in the academic community and beyond as his not so well thought out message circulated amongst many social networking communities.  Miller quickly deleted the tweet but the damage was done and his prejudice was revealed. It left many people shaking their heads.  For some, the despicable tweet was a real eye opener when it comes to the probability of impartiality when selecting applicants for very competitive PhD programs.  At least when it comes to this professor.  Miller's non-academic criteria for accepting or rejecting applicants has now been clearly exposed.

After all the backlash he received Miller ended up tweeting an apology:

"My sincere apologies to all for that idiotic, impulsive, and badly judged tweet. It does not reflect my true views, values, or standards."

And in yet another tweet Miller wrote:

"Obviously my previous tweet does not represent the selection policies of any university, or my own selection criteria."

Professors, psychologists, and academic leaders from around the world emailed, tweeted, and posted their reactions and questioned the extent of which Miller's statement reflects the universities criteria for PhD applicants.  The two universities that Miller is associated with reacted to the controversial tweet much differently.  NYU said that while the tweet was regrettable, Miller apologized, and that's the end of the story.  In contrast, UNM admin­is­tra­tors quickly issued a statement and posted it on their website in which they let it be known that after an investigation in the matter, appropriate action will take place.

Professor Miller has been back peddling a bit since he issued his apology.  He is now stating that the tweet was part of a research project. Yeah Right. #Truth. #Not. He just let it be known that obesity bias is still happening in academic circles.  It's discrimination...pure and simple.  It makes you wonder just how many individuals who did not meet Miller's BMI criteria were rejected as PhD candidates.  It's alarming and sad to know he is out there and perhaps teaching and sharing with young students his bias and his absolute discrimination.

Did You Know?

Professor Miller is no stranger to controversy.  He is an avid proponent of eugenics which is a bio-social movement that advocates the science of "improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics."