jay leno ashley graham 'Tonight Show' welcomes Ashley Graham, controversial plus sized lingerie modelAshley Graham, the plus-sized model from the controversial Lane Bryant lingerie ad that had to be edited before it could run during “American Idol,” joins Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” Friday, April 30.

Graham makes her first appearance during the opening segment, when Leno comes backstage to tell her to change because she’s showing too much cleavage. Except he’s actually talking to fellow “Tonight Show” guest Mickey Rourke, which, okay, hee. Watch that bit in the video below.

In announcing the guests for Friday’s show, Jay Leno says that he doesn’t think the original Lane Bryant commercial was too risque. “I think they were discriminating because she’s a plus-sized model,” says Leno.

When Ashley takes the stage, she explains about the ad. “[ABC is] not showing it … well, they are now, at the end of the 9 o’clock hour. Apparently there’s too much cleavage … there’s too much flesh.

So Jay Leno shows her ad and makes a comparison between it and a Victoria’s Secret ad called “The Nakeds,” which features nothing but scantily-clad thin models, and he asks, “How is that any different? Some men like pork ribs, some men like beef ribs. How is that any different?”

Amen, Jay Leno!

Graham goes on to say that while banning the ad was very “prejudiced, very size-ist,” she likes that this controversy is getting the word out that “you can be beautiful no matter what shape or size you are.”

Jay asks her what reaction she has been getting from men or women and she says that women are saying, “Thank you, finally! We can be praised for what we look like!” and men are saying, “Girl, I would NOT have banned your commercial … and can I have your number?”

Leno ends the interview saying that he “heard this thing, it just made [him] so mad, it was so unfair. Thanks for coming on.”

It also turns out that Mickey Rourke rides a Vespa sometimes. Does that conjur up the image of a trained bear in the circus on a unicycle to anyone else?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."