Rex Reed defends his right to call Melissa McCarthy a hippo

The New York Observer film critic Rex Reed has defended his criticism of actress Melissa McCarthy’s weight, claiming he’s concerned about obesity being used for comedy. Reed, who infamously called McCarthy “obese and obnoxious,” a “female hippo” and “tractor-sized” in his Identity Thief review, spoke to Us Weekly to brush off the backlash from his comments. In an email to them, he wrote: “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.” No word yet from McCarthy on Reed’s latest rant. She’s too busy enjoying her successful film career. ~Alfonso Espina

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Comments & Discussion

  1. cgo • June 27, 2013 @ 9:54 AM

    It’s one thing to “object to the disgusting attempt to pretend obesity is funny.” It’s another to be cruel about it. Calling someone a female hippo and tractor-sized” is doing nothing to help or even show concern. It’s just downright mean. It’s comments like those that could actually push someone with food issues, right to food. Why don’t we try to help people rather than be bullies?

  2. Angela Wilson • June 27, 2013 @ 10:33 AM

    This is called bullying – name calling. Melissa is valued for her acting skills.

  3. Janez • June 27, 2013 @ 11:29 AM

    I too find her rude, crude, disgusting, mentally challenged and unstable.
    There is nothing funny about the ill state she has placed her body in.
    She is in pain.
    She needs help not Hollywood exploitation and society at large should NOT SUPPORT NOR CONDONE OBESITY by monetarily rewarding her or Hollywood.
    Do not see this movie.

  4. Janez Wall • June 27, 2013 @ 11:32 AM

    I too find her rude, crude, disgusting, mentally challenged and unstable.
    There is nothing funny about the ill state she has placed her body in.
    She is in pain.
    She needs help not Hollywood exploitation and society at large should NOT SUPPORT NOR CONDONE OBESITY by monetarily rewarding her or Hollywood.
    Do not see this movie.

  5. maggie rondeau • June 27, 2013 @ 11:32 AM

    Has anyone ever said you were ugly you had ears like dumbo you are just a cruel man and Karma is a bitch and she will get even with you!! Your just a jealous man that your career is not as great as hers is
    I saw on a t-shirt that said i may be overweight but i can loose weight what is your excuse!

  6. Kitty • June 27, 2013 @ 12:24 PM

    Why is it that what borders on hate-speech is still acceptable if directed towards overweight people? Don’t judge someone until you have walked in their shoes … not every overweight person has a couch-surfing, McDonald’s eating, gym-avoiding, lazy, bum. Everyone’s body is different. I don’t have a problem with him criticizing the movie, or stating that he does not find that genre of humour (fat jokes) to be funny or entertaining, but to launch personal insults at Melissa is tacky, ignorant and rude.

  7. Sue • June 27, 2013 @ 1:01 PM

    When people make rude comments to those who are obese they are directly showing their ignorance on one of the major causes of obesity. While many believe, & Hollywood tend to show, that obese people are over eaters & lazy, the underlining true cause of obesity is often Psychology & Emotional factors.

    Many people who are depressed, who feel lonely or tend to devalue themselves for whatever reason, tend to compensate by over eating or decreasing their activity levels. I’m not stating that all people respond in this way but many do. And with time, and no help, they will gain on the weight, which in turn will depress them even more as they see themselves getting fatter. This becomes a vicious cycle.

    So people who make rude comments –‘female hippo’ or ‘tractor-size’ — only make the obese person feel worse about themselves. This is a hurtful & hateful act. So Melissa, your not concerned about the obese but rather more about yourself & selling your article.

  8. NummyNum • June 27, 2013 @ 2:13 PM

    Going by this picture, I find Melissa McCarthy to be a gorgeous looking woman. What a pretty face. As far as her body goes, she keeps herself nicely groomed and well dressed and clean. I’ve seen a lot of celebrities way heavier than Melissa – what about Kirsty Alley? No such insults made about fat men….. how about John Candy while he was living…..or John Goodman….Rob Ford the mayor of Toronto?? Why is it disgusting if it’s a woman? Women should be appreciated for their merits and talents the same as men are. Melissa should be getting the publicity for her abilities – not Rex Reed for his nasty bullying.

  9. Annette • June 27, 2013 @ 2:25 PM

    I agree, she’s a beautiful woman and her weight is her business – no one elses. He can say that being overweight is unhealthy, because it is, but personal attacks show him to be a nasty, prejudiced person.

  10. A-nony-mice • June 27, 2013 @ 2:36 PM

    Our food here in NA promotes obesity. Do you really think that it’s coincidental that the obesity rate has risen with the rise of fast food chains and unhealthy food being available everywhere, in addition to it being cheaper and easier than real food. Also, many medications have the side effect of weight gain. So unless you can outlaw all medications with this side effect and unhealthy foods, in addition to actually figure out what may be causing the issue (including medical conditions), obesity in NA society is not going to improve by very much.

    As to Ms. McCarthy being in pain, you don’t know that whatsoever. As a person who is obese, the only pain I feel is from ill-educated people assuming how I feel or why I am the way I am. Would you make the same statement about a smoker? If not, please keep your opinion about the source of my obesity and my imaginary pain to yourself.

  11. Paul • June 27, 2013 @ 2:46 PM

    Rex Reed don’t read him that will shut him up. When I was growing up There were actor comedian’s, like Oliver Hardy, john Candy, Lou Costello, George Wendt who is still around, I like that people looked different then one another. Now if there celebs they are all supposed to be in shape and beautiful how unimaginative. All that Rex is trying to do is keep his name in the limelight by picking on a fine, talented, comic actor. He puts on to much make up and is not her equal. To bad you never had any talent Rex, you might have been a better person, but your not.

  12. Darlene • June 27, 2013 @ 2:54 PM

    Why doesn’t everyone just mind their own business.
    She is a fantastic actress and what she does with her body is her business ONLY!
    Personality I saw that movie and I think she looked great! Way to go Melissa

  13. Dylan • June 27, 2013 @ 3:22 PM

    Her weight is not what makes her funny, she is a natural comedian by nature so to claim that she is obese purely for comedy is just a joke in its self. get a clue Rex Reed.

  14. Kevin • June 28, 2013 @ 10:28 AM

    I suppose Rex Reed should have no offence with being called a f*****t. Nothing personal, it’s just an unhealthy lifestyle.

  15. T & D • June 29, 2013 @ 3:06 AM

    I don’t think that Rex Reed even understands the intolerance that he is displaying. I think that he is
    just lashing out because he has probably experienced alot of intolerance himself towards his gay lifestyle. The problem that he can’t see is that they say that you are born “gay” and also, you are born “fat”. Alot of it has to do with your genetics. I’m sure that we would NEVER be inclined to tell gay people to go to a “class” to fix themselves; it seems so easy to tell an obese person to go to the “gym”. What a total hypocrite. I’m so embarrassed for him. He knows not what he does.

  16. john • June 29, 2013 @ 9:18 PM

    Melissa is over weight but his guy is just a bully she really funny and i love her movies Gabourey Sidibe is a big big girl and Precious was massive movie

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