Melissa McCarthy has gotten herself into another plus-size controversy, only this time as a cover-girl on the "Women Of Hollywood" issue of Elle magazine. According to some, the cover photo -- McCarthy done up in big hair and a bulky but fashionable black overcoat -- is a slap at McCarthy's weight, about which the actress admits she is not bothered with in the least. But according to Elle magazine, the latest controversy/scandal regarding the "Bridesmaids" star is misapplied.
UPI reported Oct. 18 that those taking offense on Melissa McCarthy's account are doing so without knowing the facts. Those facts include the decision-making process that goes into their photo shoots. Said photo shoots, according to Elle, always involve the input of those being photographed.
Elle on defense: “On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on our cover. We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year.”
But, as Yahoo Shine elaborates, there are those that have taken offense for the somewhat overweight actress, like Slate's June Thomas, who took a shot at Elle by calling McCarthy the magazine's "token plus-size cover girl." She castigated the cover depiction thus (via UPI): “McCarthy’s hair covers a quarter of her gorgeous face, and with her hands stuffed deep into her coat pockets, the only visible flesh is a tiny triangle between the coat’s lapels and the briefest glimpse of calf. Perhaps photographer Thomas Whiteside only knows how to photograph the usual stick insect models, because he clearly has no clue how to highlight McCarthy’s curves.”
Of course, that all might be true if Melissa McCarthy herself hadn't been involved in the apparel selection herself...
UPI also noted that McCarthy herself talked about the cover photo on ABC's "Good Morning America," where she said she picked out the coat and "loves the cover."
It would appear that "Mike and Molly" star can't escape controversy regarding her weight, even when she doesn't put a lot into it. In fact, just like the last public uproar over the Emmy winner's size, something she has used in her stand-up routines and on "Mike and Molly" as a comedic prop, her only input seems to be as a passive focal point.
Earlier this year, movie critic Rex Reed took a rather humorless and seemingly mean-spirited jab at McCarthy and her weight while reviewing her movie with Jason Bateman, "Identity Thief," for the New York Observer. He labeled her, among other caustic phrases about the movie, "tractor-sized" and Bateman's "female hippo," as if she were some sort of obese pet. Later, he would defend his remarks on WOR-AM in New York while calling McCarthy "classy," stating that he doesn't think humor based on obesity is amusing because he's had too many friends die problems concerning their weight. (As if that makes calling her a "hippo" altogether acceptable...)
For her own part, McCarthy, in a profile piece for the New York Times said of Reed's remarks, "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 although not particularly bothered by such comments these days, she would have been "crushed" by them when she was in her 20s.
But Reed did get one thing correct, albeit in a damage-control sort of way: Melissa McCarthy is and has remained the classy one in these neverending controversies over her weight.
You can catch Melissa McCarthy every week on Monday nights on CBS Television on her hit show, "Mike and Molly," with her plus-size (and oddly controversy-free) co-star Billy Gardell.