Kyra Sedgwick says she has a phobia of talking cartoon food. What do psychologists say?
Kyra Sedgwick is supportive of her husband Kevin Bacon's career, but she just revealed that she once asked him to pass on a gig that would've triggered one of her biggest fears.
During an appearance on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” this week, the married actors opened up about their unique phobias after Corden asked if they've ever requested that their spouse forego a work project for any reason.
Sedgwick, 57, said she did indeed ask Bacon, 64, to put the kibosh on one job offer in particular.
"He was asked to play a dancing, singing M&M," she said.
"The candy?" Corden asked. "The candy, not the rapper (Eminem)."
"The candy," Sedgwick replied. "I have a thing with moving, talking food. I have a serious issue with this."
The star went on to describe why talking cartoon foods gross her out so much.
"It makes me sick to my stomach when I see commercials where the Oreo slides down the cream slide. Just the cookie part or any anthropomorphizing of food," she said.
"Like if there's talking hot dog?" Corden wondered.
"Exactly," she started to reply then got visibly disgusted. "No, ugh."
Bacon then asked his wife how she feels about the Pillsbury Doughboy, and she said, "So bad."
Corden was surprised and Sedgwick seemed to change her tune for a moment. "But he's not really a food," she said.
"He's a big mound of dough," Bacon joked.
Sedgwick said her reaction to talking food is a genuine phobia for her.
"I feel like I looked it up on Wikipedia, and there was something about people who can't handle seeing (this sort of thing)," she said.
Corden then asked one of his producers for the name of the condition, who shouted, "Cibolasiphobia."
In true comedic fashion, Bacon weighed in and said, "I had no idea I married a cibolasiphobia."
A psychologist weighs in
So, is Sedgwick's phobia is a real thing?
Martin Antony, Ph.D., professor and chair of the psychology department at Toronto Metropolitan University, tells TODAY.com that he was just as surprised as Corden was to hear about the term.
"I have never heard of anyone with this fear, and I have never seen it documented in the literature (there is no information out there on its prevalence, for example)," he says via email.
Antony also offers an explanation on the possible origin of the term cibolasiphobia.
“The scientific and clinical literature on phobias typically don’t use the Greek and Latin names for phobias that are so common in the media (with a few exceptions — e.g., agoraphobia, claustrophobia)," he says.
Antony adds that most phobia experts likely wouldn't be familiar with the term.
"Instead, we would just call this a fear (or perhaps phobia) of talking food. If it were to be diagnosed as a phobia, it would be called 'specific phobia, other type.' There is no official diagnosis called cibolasiphobia," he says.
However, Antony did explain that "it is not unusual for individuals to develop unusual (or even unique) fears, so I have no reason to doubt that Kyra Sedgwick really has this fear."
But there's a difference between a fear and phobia, in psychological terms.
"Most fears are not phobias," he stresses. "For a fear to meet the diagnostic criteria for a phobia ... it would have to affect her life in important ways," such as keeping Sedgwick up at night or affecting her work and relationships.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com