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Stay Classy: Rex Reed Refuses To Apologize Over Remarks About Melissa McCarthy

by Ben Brock
June 26, 2013 10:20 AM
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The Heat Melissa McCarthy Rex Reed

Melissa McCarthy came to our collective attention in Paul Feig's “Bridesmaids,” in a supporting role so good that, even in a movie full of brilliant, breakout performances, hers was the brilliantest and breakingoutest. Hers was also, in a sense, the most satisfying: suddenly a larger, older actress (McCarthy was 40 when “Bridesmaids” came out, which in Hollywood is further over the hill
than you could possibly imagine) was getting big lead roles in major comedies, like February's hit “Identity Thief” and Feig's upcoming “The Heat.”

But not everyone was happy, because not everyone is a nice person. Case in point: Rex Reed, the New York Observer film critic, who used his “review” of “Identity Thief” to call McCarthy a “female hippo”, “obese and obnoxious” and “tractor-sized.” Of course, this is hardly the first time Reed has jumped off the deep end, using a review to launch his Drunk Uncle opinions. Supporting evidence, if you even need it: he once used an “Oldboy” review to beat up on Korean national food and culture (read that wonderful piece of writing right here).

But wait! Turns out he's not a dick! Turns out he's motivated by benign concern about Melissa McCarthy's health! How sweet! Here's what he said about this whole mini-controversy to Us Weekly (via Criticwire):

"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. As a critic whose opinions are constitutionally protected by law, I stand by all of my original remarks about Melissa McCarthy's obesity, which I consider about as amusing as cancer, and apologize for nothing."

Don't fuck with Rex Reed, he's read the First Amendment -- and he's a doctor! Maybe the dude should be the next Surgeon General. Meanwhile, Melissa McCarthy is taking the high road, pointing out that Reed's comments weren't just a stupid insult to her but a dangerous statement for younger actresses still finding their confidence. "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 told the New York Times.

“The Heat” is out on Friday. We're sure Reed's review will be Pulitzer Prize material.

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  • AC | July 4, 2014 7:43 AMReply

    Aside from policing her health, Reed is right, she is completely overrated. Since Bridesmaids, we see she does nothing but play the same barely amusing character over and over and over again, and the new Tammy one looks like the worst of the bunch. Does anyone think she deserved the Oscar nomination (an Oscar nomination?!?) for Bridesmaids? No, you don't.

  • Kate | June 30, 2014 7:21 PMReply

    And your point is?

  • Amber Ladeira | June 26, 2014 4:49 AMReply

    My main objection is to this article's writer--"brilliantest" and "breakingoutest"? These two egregious attempts at coining words DO fall flat. I must agree that Rex Reed went too far;
    perhaps his compositional skill set is declining, necessitating cruelty as an attention grabber.
    On obesity: no, it's not funny or healthy, nor is it very attractive (-to me, at least). But Reed's deliberate and specific use of pejoratively specific nouns (hippo, et al.) goes beyond any shred of decency and any inspired critique.

  • Any | May 8, 2014 2:19 PMReply

    she's truly annoying ugly fat ass piece of shit ... !!! I guarantee many people out there who has was better acting skill, way prettier that this ugly bear !!!

  • Danny | July 12, 2013 11:56 AMReply

    I also agree with Rex Reed and the liberal media are hypocritical. I applaud Rex Reed for not being fake, and making an insincere apology. Melissa McCarthy is famous because she's an ugly fat woman and people like laughing AT not WITH fat people. Reed is correct, although he was rude calling McCarthy a hippo and tractor size he is correct in his analysis that people love laughing at fat people. Look at John Candy people loved his fat ass he's dead, James Beluchi fat and dead, the list goes on and on. These big fat comedians get a laugh out of the public but privately a lot of them are deeply unhappy people.

  • nick | December 14, 2013 2:06 PM

    You are a waste of sperm. Your mother should have swallowed you.

  • Wil Whalen | June 28, 2013 9:38 AMReply

    Google an image of this prick. He's FAT! He's got about six chins! And what I want to know is why he never said anything about John Belushi, John Goodman, or Chris Farley. Probably because he's a sexist pig. Oh and did I mention he's FAT???

  • Caitlin | June 27, 2013 7:51 PMReply

    This guy's such a dick. What about all the coked out actresses with no fat on their bodies? They have created so many eating disorders for young women everywhere. Melissa McCarthy has had to go through so much to get to where she is and assholes like Rex Reed are only making matters worse. And like he really cares about her health. Right.

  • Dan Navarro | June 26, 2013 8:30 PMReply

    I agree that Rex Reed's remarks about Melissa's weight are unnecessarily harsh (especially the "hippo" comment), but his point about the dangers of obesity are spot on. I still fondly remember the comedians Chris Farley and Jim Belushi, both dead at 33. And we might add the recent saddening death of James Gandolfini, who survived to age 51 but was heavier than his ideal weight at that age.

  • Brian Lewis | July 6, 2014 12:58 AM

    Belushi and Farley died from abusing narcotics. It had nothing to do with obesity.

  • Tyler Banks | June 28, 2013 9:08 AM

    You do know that it is John Belushi, not Jim Belushi that is dead right? Oh and by the way Farley and Belushi's deaths were drug related, not weight related. So much misinformation in one post.

  • John Michaels | June 26, 2013 1:27 PMReply

    You know, he makes a very good point about all the other overweight actors who have died. I highly doubt that was the meaning of his first comment but obesity isn't something that we should joke about.

  • Tom Haverford | June 26, 2013 1:50 PM

    Numerically speaking, a lot more skinny Hollywood actors have died than overweight ones. Correlation isn't causation, really, so "overweight actors have died" doesn't mean "being overweight led to people's deaths".

  • MR_F | June 26, 2013 11:51 AMReply

    Melissa McCarthy is actually funny, it's just too bad she keeps signing up for shit movies like Identity Thief. Bridesmaids was only funny because she was in it. Mike & Molly is fucking terrible, except for her. I haven't seen The Heat yet (obviously) but I'm expecting another Miss Congeniality 2. Rex Reed's still the pompous windbag he's always been, but I do give him some credit for not apologizing. He stated his (incredibly egotistical) opinion and is sticking to his guns. Fine with me, why is he still being asked anyway?

  • Erik | June 26, 2013 10:28 AMReply

    Reed is obviously a gigantic dick, but Melissa McCarthy's role in Bridesmaids was basically of the point-and-laugh-at-the-fat-person variety. I'm not sure why it is named as a positive example.

  • sp | June 26, 2013 2:17 PM

    Agreed. Rex Reed was unbelievably harsh, but he mentioned some truths. Melissa McCarthy's film successes are portraying stereotypical overweight , loud, obnoxious female characters. And, she is doing it again in " Heat ".

    I don't care what anybody says, but Rose Byrne's role was the most challenging and most fascinating character in " Bridesmaids " , and she gave the best performance.

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