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Hollywood Sexist of the Day: Rex Reed

by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
February 8, 2013 3:15 PM
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Identity Thief

Rex Reed’s review of Identity Thief in The New York Observer is a scathing takedown of the film, which is fine. He's entitled to his opinion.  He's a critic.  What’s not fine, and what he's not entitled to, is his continual harping star's Melissa McCarthy and her weight.

Reed constantly mentions McCarthy’s weight in the review—which clearly has nothing to do with the film. He calls her “tractor-sized,” “humongous,” and a “hippo.” And apparently Reed just doesn’t have a problem with McCarthy’s character in the film.

Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success.

Lest we forget that Jason Bateman is also in this movie, yet Reed has nothing but praise calling him “charming and attractive.” Bateman’s weight remains undiscussed in the review.

Reed’s comments about McCarthy’s weight are fat-shaming, disgusting and completely irrelevant to his review of the film. Next time, he should focus more on what didn’t work as opposed to the weight of the female lead.

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More: Sexism, The Identity Thief, Melissa McCarthy

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  • Andy | February 11, 2013 7:32 PMReply

    Give me a break - McCarthy was only cast in this movie because she is fat. The movie makes fun of her fat. Bateman's character says McCarthy's looks like a Hobbit. The entire movie is one long fat joke. But we chastise Rex Reed for stating the obvious and when he tries to join in on the joke, he is suddenly a sexist bad buy.

  • Danny | February 10, 2013 3:25 PMReply

    Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas are talking bullshit. It is so typical of some women to always play the VICTIM. Rex Reed was simply being bluntly honest Melissa McCarthy is indeed famous for being obese and obnoxious in her films. McCarthy's fatness is her gimmick the audience laughs at her not with her. McCarthy is not some baby here the lady doesn't seem to mind or care that her weight is the source of the jokes in her films.

  • Karen Davis | February 10, 2013 11:19 AMReply

    Rex Reed is still around? The only thing holding him together is "plastic" and that's as superficial as his reviews and celeb profiles from the 1970s.

  • Julie | February 10, 2013 2:11 AMReply

    I saw Identify Thief. I thought it was super funny. My opinion of Melissa McCarthy in the film is that she's charismatic, extremely funny and....BEAUTIFUL. Her character is dressed ridiculous most of the movie cause it reflects her character who is very over-the-top (in a good way).

    Then, in the movie, her character gets a make over i.e. she trades in her bright ridiculous outfit for a elegant black dress and toned down hair. She walks into frame and she took my breath away. She looks beautiful. Even, Jason Bateman's character tells her she looks beautiful because she does.

    Melissa McCarthy is a beautiful woman. She's a bonafied movie star. It was so awesome to see her on the big screen. All I kept thinking when I watched the movie is "Wow, what a movie star."

    It's too bad Rex Reed is unable to recognize her beauty. It's his loss.

  • Dill | February 22, 2013 8:07 AM

    Danny - "women like Julie"? Do you know Julie? Or do you mean women not shoeboxed into believing that the only beautiful women in this world are ones that fit the contemporary beauty standard? So Melissa McCarthy is fat. She knows it - all fat people do. Does it mean she's not funny? No. Does it mean she shouldn't be in movies? No. Does it mean that some people might not consider her hideous? No. I've lived my life on both sides of the weigh scale...there are plenty of men who think a bigger woman is attractive. The fact is - how many movies have really unattractive men been in, and there looks are never brought into it? (Umm...Steve Buscemi - he gets to be a "character actor" thanks to his...unique looks). What difference does it make to her performance - and that is what a critic is supposed to judge, is it not?

  • Danny | February 10, 2013 3:29 PM

    Women like Julie always talk bullshit about fat ugly ladies like Melissa McCarthy being beautiful. Ask most men they won't say McCarthy is pretty. It is just like Sarah Jessica Parker only women say that sea hag is beautiful when she looks like a foot.

  • Janie | February 10, 2013 12:21 AMReply

    I noticed that Rex Reed closed his FB account. You can no longer see the comments left by individuals who were defending Melissa McCarthy. Spinless whimp of a half man he is! Doesn't want to face the music, or answer to the comments people are making. That just goes to show you, he's an ass!

  • Kathy | February 9, 2013 7:45 PMReply

    I've seen so many overweight, sloppy men expect women to be thin and stylish. Hey boys, if you want us to be attractive, then YOU need to be attractive.

  • spassky | February 20, 2013 11:19 AM

    abhorrent exceptionalism, Kathy.

    Women are just as vain as men. We're all human.

    [message brought to you by an overweight unattractive guy who is very respectful to women]

  • Armand | February 9, 2013 1:33 PMReply

    The film critic, Rex Reed, is an Idiot. How many acting jobs has he done, or better yet, how many times has he tried to play a part of caring person? HE CANNOT! This would be impossible for someone who has not heart. I hope Identity Theft is a big success. Aren’t we getting tired of him slamming persons who are trying to entertain us? He should be fired! Anyone that ruthless should be punished for getting personal. One can understand criticizing another’s acting ability, but to get personal is completely out of the question. Whenever he has liked a movie, I refuse to go and see it. If he hates it, I make it a point to go. Since money is one of the measures of success for a movie, let the dollars speak for it!

  • Allana Gobern | February 9, 2013 12:56 AMReply

    I am soon tired of men telling us woman " how we should look , what looks good on us, that we should fight other women for a man, and that our size matter. Look women of the WORLD WE NEED TO GET OUT POWER BACK FROM THEM NOW!!! Look at the state of the world now and ask yourself are we doing better with them in charge all of these years? No!!!! We are in a sprawl going down. The world needs for us to take charge and to do it NOW.

  • spassky | February 20, 2013 11:22 AM

    Hi there,

    Just want to say that while there are obvious gender disparities in the world, there are plenty of women who criticize men for how they look. I have had incredibly disrespectful and unwarranted things be thrown at me by women of every ilk (also by men as well). I have cried for things that women I don't know say to me unprovoked, and then be made fun of for caring because "men don't care about these things".

    People are awful everywhere. Get a clue.

    Rex Reed isn't a sexist, he's just an asshole (and a f**cking idiot, but that's another story altogether)

  • To Jay, | February 15, 2013 7:14 PM

    You say "grow up", yet the grammar and construction of the simple sentences in your post connotes a fourth-grade education, at best. If you want, I will send you a corrected version of your comment, which while being actual written English, will still contain no intelligence whatsoever. Also, calm down, sweetheart. You're being really emotional.

  • jay | February 9, 2013 1:25 PM

    It's woman like you that are the reason why we don't have females running the country;you dont think.Your ruled by your emotions which makes you like alot of women crazy as shit.Woman are crazy ALL woman are crazy men know this that is why they are in control always have always will be;grow up.

  • ff | February 8, 2013 8:30 PMReply

    a man is always trying to keep a woman down. If you hate us so much then why don't you pigs co-exist with eachother. We would be glad to get out of the way. I'd like to watch that one.

  • ff | February 8, 2013 8:27 PMReply

    Truth Teller, you're a loser! Woman don't need to abide my mens standards. Maybe I should kick your ass. Let's see what kind of man you are big guy. You will never have a woman worth having based on the way you talk and think. You're telling the truth that all of your meat head guy friends will validate. A womans worth is not dictated by her size. You don't have to sleep with her and I'm willing to bet she doesn't want you slob. Does your mom do everything for you woman hater?

  • spotters | February 10, 2013 4:44 AM

    Knowing "FF" has reduced "Truth Teller" to name calling makes me smile because it proves they’ve(Truth Teller) surrendered the argument at any rational level, nothing intelligent to share to begin with and have walked away in frustration.

  • TRUTH TELLER | February 8, 2013 8:36 PM

    First of all... fuck off because you are a moron. I am a woman you pretentious bitch! While don't you come over here so I can kick you in your slobbering cunt you beached whale. Idiot. But you did have one thing right, I do hate women, like you for example you dyke whore!

  • ff | February 8, 2013 8:24 PMReply

    Yes, Rex, we all need to make sure that we are appealing to your eyes because you're such a big deal. You're an actor. Stop measuring woman by their "F" ability. We don't need to achieve you loser.

  • katie | February 8, 2013 7:48 PMReply

    would this guy call a movie good because it starred a total babe? if he did, would we say he's a bad reviewer?

    'member that LA Times article about how The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is mostly white men over 60? This guy's just talking like they talk at the master's house.

  • To the idiot named Bathory | February 8, 2013 6:19 PMReply

    You must really really really morbidly obese huh?

  • Truth Teller | February 8, 2013 6:00 PMReply

    The fact is she is an untalented fat actress... She does remind me of a (insert 400 pound animal here) and it is not sexist. The fact is that if it was Kevin James, Michael Moore, Nick Frost... it doesn't matter... They are equally as fucking repulsive as the next. The reason he didn't attack Jason Bateman is because he isn't overweight. DUH!

  • Tara | February 8, 2013 6:21 PM

    @BATHORY - the money she makes is all that matters? Way to set us women back a few decades and prove Madonna's theories about our materialism correct. The woman might be talented or not depending on who you are but I don't think its her pay scale that makes all the difference. Obviously you're speaking from experience though. Hooking must really be paying well these days.

  • Bathory | February 8, 2013 6:07 PM

    Untalented? I guess that's a matter of opinion, but apparently, the producers shoving more money in her pockets for six months of shooting than we'll probably ever see in our lives disagree with you--and that's all that matters. Additionally, everyone knows she's fat. Everyone acknowledges she's fat. She knows she's fat. She acknowledges she's fat. She gets cast in some of the roles she does BECAUSE she's fat, and she takes advantage of that. It's not like you're some special snowflake who's the only genius in the world willing to say she's fat. You're not a "truth teller". You're just an asshole who is "repulsed" by a body type. Go be repulsed by rape and and acid attacks instead of being a shallow little ass hat.

  • spassky | February 8, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    I don't think this is necessarily a sexist perspective, but this type of obsession on weight is ubiquitous. As an overweight male, I'm kind of offended that you assume this has do to with her sex, as overweight men can attest that there's plenty of shaming coming our way from society as well.

  • spassky | February 20, 2013 11:30 AM

    All incredibly valid points. But...

    "John Candy or John Goodman" -- I'm sorry, but McCarthy is totally awesome and funny, but is in no way in the same realm as Goodman or Candy (at this point, anyway). And neither one of them has/had ever been nominated for an oscar. That's pretty reprehensible also, and in my opinion is indicative of society's shaming of overweight people in general.

    Otherwise, I think we would ultimately get into a chicken-and-egg argument here over whether Rex Reed is an inherent sexist, or is merely indicative of the endemic sexism that occurs in society at large.

    Since Rex Reed is a total idiot (and I'm kind of ashamed to even be giving this a second glance) I'm going to assume that he has unknowingly submitted to the gender norms put forth by society.

  • danny | February 10, 2013 3:32 PM

    But wait a second Bathory, your comment is hypocritical. McCarthy knows she's being cast as fat in her films then she should be able to accept criticism for taking on roles which make fun of her obesity. McCarthy and the bitches on this blog can't complain and whine about sexism when McCarthy is actively INVOLVED in making movies which degrade fat women. You bitches are full of shit!

  • Shashie | February 9, 2013 12:27 PM

    @ Shelle...I'm thinking Rex Reed is more repulsed by women in general than he is by men, although repulsed may be too strong a word.

  • Shelle | February 9, 2013 9:40 AM

    @TARA: Nah. I tend to be more repulsed by assholes than by body types in general.

  • Tara | February 8, 2013 6:19 PM

    @SHELLE - who isn't more repulsed by overweight women than they are overweight men? Let's face it, women only have to do a fraction of the work men do and seldom have real jobs thanks to men. They only make half the pay as men so how can they even afford to be fat in the first place? I think Reed is spot on in his fat shaming! Shame on her for having more than the rest of us skinny women! Now we know where the twinkies went!

  • Sara | February 8, 2013 5:55 PM

    I wonder whether he ever made similar comments about John Candy or John Goodman when he was reviewing their movies.

  • Shelle | February 8, 2013 5:43 PM

    It's sexist because of the reviewer's history of NOT attacking overweight male actors in the same way he attacked McCarthy. Apparently Reed is more repulsed by overweight women than he is by overweight men.

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