Melissa McCarthy Called “Tractor-Sized” and “Hippo” in Film Review — Outraged Readers Sound Off
It's safe to say Rex Reed is not a big fan of Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy. He really hated her new film, Identity Thief, but seemed much more sympathetic to her co-star, Jason Bateman. That’s fine, but it’s the way he wrote about McCarthy that has fans outraged.
"In the trashy, stupefying screenplay by Craig Mazin, Jason Bateman is a Denver accountant named Sandy Patterson—another in a long line of victims of the increasingly dangerous world of cyber-crime—whose credit card has been hacked and copied by a felonious thief in Miami (cacophonous, tractor-sized Melissa McCarthy).”
“The snafus in the worst road movie since The Guilt Trip plunge Mr. Bateman and his female hippo into a motel with only a double bed, a grotesque sex scene with a pickled reprobate she picks up in a bar who demands a threesome, a violent bar fight that bloodies his nose, a kidnapping, a multi-car collision going the wrong way on the freeway … but why go on?"
"Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success. Poor Jason Bateman. How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck?"
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Read more here. The comments under the story were pretty much all negative. Here’s a sample:
• "Wow, this review is seriously offensive. Calling McCarthy a tractor-sized hippo? Remind me never to read The Observer again."
• "Rex Reed, what is wrong with you? What benefit is there to attacking Melissa McCarthy personally when you're supposed to be talking about the quality of the film? 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. At least this is one less website I need to visit now."
• "Look, from what I can tell, you're calling it like you see it- yes, Melissa McCarthy is overweight and plays obnoxious characters. However, I'd like you to look at her male counterparts and ask yourself which of them has ever brought you to such hostility before. Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Jason Sudeikis- the list of overweight and unattractive men who are cast in wildly popular comedic roles goes on. This is because as a culture, we can tolerate an ugly man as long as he's funny, but a woman has to be both attractive and talented (in that order) to be deemed worthy of a leading role. Check yourself, Mr. Reed- you're part of the problem."
• "’Tractor-sized’ and ‘humongous’ to describe Melissa McCarthy? Isn't this supposed to be a review about the film. You don't work for 'Biggest Loser USA!' How rude. You mad bro?”
• “Wow, this is a horrible, misogynist crapfest of a review.”
• “I cannot believe that this offensive article made it to print. This writer should be fired. Dear editor, please consider reading your writers work and informing them that calling someone a hippo or 'devoting her career to being obese' is offensive to about 80% of the united states. Good work -Rex, now you have permanently lost a reader for your publication. I will never read the Observer again without a public apology from this A-hole.”
Read the full story and comments for more. The review shines a harsh light on the still-common double standard of women being judged for their looks while many men still just get judged for their work. But, on the upside, at least people responded en masse, with a pretty much unanimous bashing of the sexism and cruel weight references. Do you think Rex should apologize? He has the right to write what he wants, whether people agree or not ... unless his editors decide he's gone too far.