Movie reviewer Rex Reed slammed actress Melissa McCarthy as a "tractor-sized female hippo" in his caustic review of her new film, "Identity Thief."
In his New York Observer review, Reed bashed the comedy as a "chunk of junk" for its insipid plot and called McCarthy (who plays an unlikeable identity thief) a "gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious."
While Melissa's character is unsympathetic, Reed is raising eyebrows for extending his scathing review of the film to a personal attack on the actress' body. The fat-shaming comments are especially hurtful because McCarthy has lamented that she wishes she were thin.
"Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size six and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought," McCarthy told Good Housekeeping. "But I am weirdly healthy, so I don’t beat myself up about it. It wouldn’t help, and I don’t want to pass that on to my girls [Vivian, 5, and Georgette, 2]."
Melissa, 42, said she can't seem to lose weight despite her best efforts. "I don’t really know why I’m not thinner," said McCarthy, who plays tennis and does Pilates. "I don’t really drink soda; I don’t have a sweet tooth, and we eat healthfully at home."
Reed's fat-shaming is reminiscent of the weight remarks directed at Jennifer Lawrence, who was called too thick for her role in the "Hunger Games."
In March 2012, Manohla Dargis of the "New York Times" remarked that Lawrence wasn't thin enough to convincingly play the part of a starving teen.
Dargis wrote: "A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission."
Jennifer later hit back, saying these types of comments foster an unhealthy body image that damages young women's self-esteem.
"I'm never going to starve myself for a part," said Lawrence, 22. "I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I'm going to skip dinner.' I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong — not thin and underfed."