Think back, everyone -- can you remember when you first fell in love with actress Melissa McCarthy? I never saw her TV show, Mike & Molly. So for me it was her role in Bridesmaids. I thought the whole ensemble was hilarious, but Melissa's uttlerly balls-to-the-wall weird and highly original character had me in helpless fits, tears streaming down my face. She stole the show, as far as I'm concerned.
I haven't seen her new movie, Identity Thief, yet. I'll probably read a few reviews first. But one reviewer whose opinion I'm totally disregarding is Rex Reed's. In his New York Observer review, he attacked Melissa for her weight. He actually did that, like that is something a professional film reviewer just does. Wait until you read what he said. It's infuriating.
Here's a list of how Rex refers to Melissa in his review:
- cacophonous, tractor-sized
- screeching, humongous creep
- female hippo
- a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success
Now I ask you. Are you screaming yet? No, actually, my real question is, have you ever read a review where a male actor was described this way? Let's see: John Belushi, John Candy, Chris Farley, Jackie Gleason, Jack Black, Jonah Hill. They've all made lemon movies. But did the reviewers ever specifically point out their BODIES as an actual flaw of the movie?
And why is it still okay to fat-shame actors and call them names? Most fat people I know don't care if you point out that they're fat as long as you're respectful about it. They know they're fat -- that's not news to them. But it's not okay to call people names. Period. Seeing a fat person does not suddenly grant you an asshole license.
And finally, some respect for Melissa as a comedian! It's true that Melissa uses her body in her comedy -- all skillful actors do that. You use what you've got. But her comedic genius comes from deep inside her. It's not in her fat cells, it's in her brain. Melissa has a twisted mind, sharp timing, and a mad wicked streak. She is so much more than her size.
Maybe Identity Thief is a stupid movie. I have no idea. But whatever the quality of the film, none of it comes down to Melissa McCarthy's size. And I'm disgusted that a veteran film reviewer WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER would resort to calling Melissa a hippo in his review. I think that says a lot more about what kind of person he is than it says about what kind of movie he's reviewing.
What do you think of Rex Reed's fat-shaming Melissa McCarthy?
Image via identitythiefthemovie.com