Melissa McCarthy Schools Awful Film Critic About the Damage of Fat Shaming

Inspiring 5

Melissa McCarthy Do you happen to remember back in February when New York Observer movie critic Rex Reed wrote a scathing review of Identity Thief in which he attacked actress Melissa McCarthy for her weight? It's clear from the writeup that he hated the movie, but for some reason, he got awfully personal about McCarthy's body size in the process of criticizing the film, referring to her as "cacophonous, tractor-sized," "a screeching, humongous creep, "a female hippo," and "a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success."

I'm sorry McCarthy has even been asked to publicly respond to the review, but now that she's broken her silence on her reaction to his insults, it's worth sharing. Because not only did she take the high road, she did an amazing job of pointing out the damage fat-shaming comments like Reed's can cause.

Reed's review made headlines for his jaw-dropping hateful commentary against McCarthy, causing many fellow celebrities to speak out against his choice of words. Trainer Jillian Michaels called it "just plain cruelty," and added,

That kind of prejudice is wrong in every possible way. I'm here to say when you do things like that, it's spreading harm and it's hurtful and it's prejudice.

Reed told a radio station that, essentially, he stood behind his nasty remarks:

My point was that I object to using health issues like obesity as comic talking points. She is basing her career on being obnoxious and being overweight. And I don't think that's funny. I have too many friends that have died of obesity-related illnesses, heart problems and diabetes, and I have actually lost friends to this...I don't care how much she weighs. I don't care how much Melissa McCarthy weighs. She wants to be fat? (...) she's crying all the way to the bank.

As for McCarthy herself, she addressed Reed's comments for the first time in a June 13 interview with The New York Times. She said that her first reaction to the review was "Really? Why would someone O.K. that?" before going on to consider the source of the insults:

I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing me songs.

She added that if the reviewed had happened 20 years ago, "it may have crushed me." But now that she's raising young daughters in "a strange epidemic of body image and body dysmorphia," she says,

(Comments like Reed's) just add to all those younger girls, that are not in a place in their life where they can say, "That doesn’t reflect on me." That makes it more true. It means you don’t actually look good enough.

Bravo to Melissa McCarthy -- her response was both classy and spot-on, and I hope Reed takes it to heart. His review was disgusting, showed a sincere lack of creativity on his part to focus on slamming the size of the actress instead of the quality of the film, and I'm pretty sure NO ONE buys his explanation that he resorted to schoolyard insults because he's concerned about obesity health issues.

What do you think of McCarthy's comeback to Reed's fat-shaming review?

Image via Identity Thief

celebs, celebrity


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Melis... Melissa1508

Oh yeah, he's really "hurt" by the fact that she uses her weight in her comedy routines.  The cruel words he used against her make him such a hypocrite.  People like him make me sick.  Our daughters are in trouble because of people like this.  My daughters are 5 and 1 and I dread the day that they start making comments or asking questions about weight.  I sincerely hope that I can explain things in the right way and steer them down the right path.

Rachel Gorham

Obesity in the news means that these bullies think they can use it as an excuse again and again and again. After all, it's their HEALTH. I don't even like it when it's done in a hand-wringing oh-don't-you-think-you're-a-bad-example kind of way -- because that's just a deeper coverup for the fact that what they're really saying is, "Looking at overweight people turns me off; please don't put any in my entertainment." If they were concerned about health, they'd attack, say, smokers, or drug users, or people who don't wash their hands between the bathroom and the kitchen. Health is just an excuse. (And it's a failed excuse: they're ignoring the statistics that say that overweight people live LONGER than normal-BMI people, and that even obese people live longer than underweight people -- while the Hollywood standard female shape is dreadfully underweight. So truly, if they cared about health, they'd be addressing their criticism to 99% of the working actresses in Hollywood, instead of 1%.)

Choco... Chocodoxies

So he isn't in the wrong because he has "fat" friends? Well, I'm not racist because I have black friends.... how often does that arguement work? Comedy has consisted of everything from smoking humour to bathroom humour, sex humour, and more. He isn't offended, he is offensive. Most people who are "offended" often are the very offenders most of the time.  I have a friend of a friend who is the sister of my cousin twice removed and she has diabetes, so I take it really personally when... OH SHUT UP. Self righteous butthead. There, I said it. 

nonmember avatar Susan

I do not condone the way this movie critic randomly berated McCarthy and attacked her but sadly because he chose his words incorrectly now everyone missed an important point— McCarthy does use her weight as a “fame gimmick” and being obese is a serious health epidemic. America has the highest amount of obese individuals compared to any other country and that includes the high rate of diabetes (and other health issues). I’m not saying McCarthy or other women need to be stick thin to be beautiful, no it takes all kinds, BUT its important to strive to live a healthy lifestyle—not to be a size 0—but so we can survive for our family and feel good inside and out. Its not nice to criticize the way this reviewer did because making fun of someone won’t necessarily motivate someone to lose weight or see the health ramifications of obesity.

Kate Cooley

And suddenly, Rex Reed is relevent again. Mission accomplished, Mr. Reed.


1-5 of 5 comments