Huffpost Women
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ashbey Riley Headshot

Rant of the Day: Rex Reed calls Melissa McCarthy a Hippo

Posted: Updated:

Now, I totally get that Mr. Reed's job is to judge other people's art. I mean, it's put out there specifically to be judged, right? Yes. However, that does not mean that Mr. Reed should be allowed to ridicule a person's appearance as part of some kind of gimmick. Case in point: His latest review of the movie Identity Thief.

In his review of the film slated to premiere on February 8, Mr. Reed savagely pans the flick and drops these gems about its female lead, Melissa McCarthy: "cacophonous, tractor-sized" "female hippo" "obese and obnoxious." While he describes Ms. McCarthy's co-star, Jason Bateman, as "an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile."

As I read the review, I felt my blood begin to percolate.

What on earth would possess him to think fat shaming is OK? Is it possible that Identity Thief downright sucks? Sure it is! Does it likely suck because of how Melissa McCarthy looks? I'm quite certain the answer is absolutely f*cking not.

I mean, we've all seen Ms. McCarthy before. She's hilarious and charming and very lovable. She has her own series and a slew of films coming out this year. She has a very loyal fan base who adore her because she is so talented and relatable. Which is why this gets in my craw so bad. She doesn't deserve to degraded in such a way. She's one of the good ones, she works hard and she deserves better.

And what bothers me even more, is that Mr. Reed's attack on Ms. McCarthy openly perpetuates the long time double standard that it's OK for men to be overweight but not for women. Something that seems especially true with comedians. A quick Google search spits out a disturbing amount of jabs aimed at funny ladies' waistlines.

The bottom line? It's not OK to put a woman down for being overweight. It's a cheap shot, it's cruel and for a professional, it's completely unacceptable. So many of us struggle with our weight day in and day out. And when one of us is brave enough to embrace their body just the way it is and say "Hey! This is me!" we should applaud them and be inspired by their courage no matter how much they weigh.

Rex Reed, shame on you for being so insensitive and uncouth. I sincerely hope you come to your senses and do the right thing: Apologize to Melissa McCarthy.