Rex Reed, the movie reviewer who called actress Melissa McCarthy “tractor-sized” and a “female hippo,” is standing by his comments.
Reed’s review in The New York Observer of “Identity Thief,”
which came out earlier this year, tears apart the movie’s plot, but also its leading actress. Reed took on McCarthy’s plus-size figure, calling her “a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success.”
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“I apologize for nothing,” Reed said in an email to Us Weekly.
“I can only repeat what I have said before — that I do not have, nor have I ever had, anything personal against people who suffer from obesity. What I object to is the disgusting attempt to pretend obesity is funny. It is not remotely humorous, and every obese comedian who ever made jokes about the disease are now dead from strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes."
Reed claimed his review stance is protected by the First Amendment. He also said he considers obesity “about as amusing as cancer.”
McCarthy, known for her roles in “Bridesmaids” and “Mike and Molly,” spoke out earlier this month about the critic’s harsh review
“I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate,” she told The New York Times.
“I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot.”
Fans and fellow celebrities are on McCarthy’s side. Many stood up for her after Reed’s attack, and again after a poster for her new movie “The Heat” showed the actress’ face and neck heavily Photoshopped. Even supermodel Christie Brinkley spoke out, calling the retouching “unnecessary.”
“We all love Melissa McCarthy just the way she is,” she told Entertainment Tonight.
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Veteran film critic Richard Roeper chided Reed for his review, saying comments on physical appearance should only be made if they’re relevant to the film. “This just smacks of name-calling in lieu of genuine criticism,” he told Us Weekly.
McCarthy’s next project, “Tammy,” features the star as a fast-food employee who loses her job and hits the road with her grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon. The film is due out in July next year.
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