Kathy Hilton explains why she mistook Lizzo for Gabourey Sidibe in ‘Precious’

A blond woman wearing a black dress with floral print smiles for photos
Kathy Hilton blames her “terrible” eyesight for confusing Lizzo with the lead character in the film “Precious.”
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)

Lizzo told her listeners “you’re special,” but Kathy Hilton said the Grammy-winning singer is “Precious.” As in, the titular character played by Gabourey Sidibe in Lee Daniels’ 2009 film.

The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star mistook the Yitty shapewear founder for Sidibe’s character during Wednesday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.”

Joined by co-star Crystal Kung Minkoff, Hilton participated in a round of “Will Kathy Know Them?,” a game where she had to name the celebrities Cohen showed her. When Lizzo’s picture came up, Cohen asked Hilton if she recognized the musician.

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“I feel like I do,” she said, before pausing to make her guess. “Precious?”

Cohen was quick to correct Hilton, while Minkoff and other members of the “WWHL” team laughed at the gaffe. Hilton said “I don’t know her,” and Minkoff tried to play off her co-star’s flub.

“She is precious, though. Lizzo is precious,” Minkoff said.

Like clockwork, social media lit up on Wednesday, with commenters appalled by Hilton’s confusion over the two Black women.

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“Kathy Hilton did not just call Lizzo precious,” tweeted @HisEvilTwinAD.

Another Twitter user called Hilton’s mistake “mad disrespectful, racist, and fatphobic.”

“Precious,” which won two Oscars in 2010, followed Sidibe’s overweight teen mom as she seeks a better life for her child. Sidibe received an Oscar nomination for her performance, and her co-star Mo’Nique won the Academy Award for supporting actress.

In light of the criticism, Hilton responded Thursday and explained why she made the blunder.

“The screen was so far away and my vision is terrible,” she wrote in the comments section of the @QueensofBravo Instagram account. “If you recall, I... couldn’t even make out who Justin Timberlake or Melissa Etheridge was.”

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Instagram users weren’t having her excuse.

“Ok glasses and laser eye surgery are well within your budget Kathy. This ‘my eyes are bad’ excuse is getting old,” commented user @michelleeeallthetime.

Other “Real Housewives” fans supported Hilton, citing previous incidents.

“Let her live for goodness sake! She thought Garcelle [Beauvais] was her own sister,” commented an Instagram fan.


Lizzo, on the other hand, didn’t seem too bothered by Hilton’s slip-up, posting vacation pictures Thursday on Twitter with the cheeky caption, “Meanwhile...”