Film critic Rex Reed is not especially known for being nice. He didn't like the new movie “Identity Thief.” That’s okay. He’s allowed to not like it and pan the film all he wants. But instead, according to Entertainment on “Today” on Feb. 7, Reed took to hurling weight slurs at the film’s female star, Melissa McCarthy from “Mike & Molly.”
Yes, Melissa McCarthy is larger than the average Hollywood actress. Maybe Rex Reed didn't think she realized it and thought he would perform a public service and tell her? Seriously, I think she knows. There was no call for remarks like “hippo” and “a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success.”
“Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size six and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought, McCarthy, 42, told Good Housekeeping magazine last fall. “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.”
Rex Reed is a well-known film critic and author. He could have said a myriad of things about the movie “Identity Thief,” which others have said isn't the greatest. Why did he have to go after McCarthy’s appearance? I guess only Reed knows the answer to that one, but he quickly garnered a lot of negative publicity for it. Here are a few from the Observer web site.
"I don't know who you think you are but it's a damn shame that at this point in your career you've resorted to trashing the way a woman looks as part of your gimmick here," wrote Ashbey Riley.
"What benefit is there to attacking Melissa McCarthy personally when you're supposed to be talking about the quality of the film?" wrote Grae Drake. "There are so few people you can count on in this over-saturated industry for true film criticism, and you just ruined any remaining shreds of credibility you had."
"I get you hated the movie," said Robin Mitchell. "I have hated lots of movies and didn't need to resort to name-calling and fat shaming. Professionals do not behave this way."
Alonso Duralde, a Los Angeles-based film critic for TheWrap.com, told TODAY.com Thursday that it's OK if Reed doesn't think McCarthy is funny. "He has every right not to be amused" by her, Duralde said. But it's a "cheap shot" to go after her appearance.
"'Identity Thief' is so terrible, there are plenty of things to talk about without resorting to Melissa McCarthy's weight," Duralde said.
Apparently it’s not only because she’s a woman. Rex Reed seems to not care for fat people. In his January review of “The Guilt Trip,” starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, he wrote: “Mr. Rogen, who looks like Limburger cheese, has carved an inexplicable career out of playing dorks who make the word ‘retarded’ politically acceptable again.”