Rex Reed Hated Identity Thief…Especially Because Melissa McCarthy Is Fat

melissa mccarthy rex reed
The New York Observer‘s Rex Reed is a famous film critic who’s been involved in the industry for decades. And in his review of the new film Identity Thief, he proved that years of experience have granted him the supreme talent of fat-shaming. He creatively called Melissa McCarthy, the talented actress and comedian who’s been recognized for her brilliant work on film and television, “tractor-sized,” a “hippo,” and “a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success,” simultaneously wondering how her “charming, talented, attractive and versatile” co-star, Jason Bateman, got “stuck in so much dreck”–encouraging young writers to remember that if they just put in enough time at their craft, they too could be allowed to publicly bully successful adults with ad hominem attacks.

Reed has already proven an aptitude for doling out offensive platitudes about entire demographics and racially charged assaults on entire nationalities, and he hasn’t been all that kind to women, either. But his treatment of Melissa McCarthy just smacks of the kind of cruel size discrimination that gets us riled up. Maybe that was his point, but judging by the dismissive way he referenced her weight throughout his review–without once addressing why or how her weight played into his enjoyment of the film (or rather, lack thereof), he

McCarthy’s weight doesn’t have to be off-limits: Laura Beck of Jezebel hasn’t even seen the film (and she hasn’t been reviewing films since the 70′s either), but her thoughtful and informative assessment of Identity Thief justifies discussing McCarthy’s body in mature, intelligent terms. ”I don’t know how down I am with a movie that, by all accounts, includes some hardcore jokes about McCarthy’s weight,” she says.

She’s closer to an average-sized American woman than most people in popular media, and that’s a very good thing. Seeing different body shapes makes us more comfortable with seeing different body sizes. However, since we’re so accustomed to seeing size 2s everywhere, we don’t even know what to do when we see someone bigger on screen. (HINT: we refer to them as Bilbo Baggins.)

She must be a savant. Or, just someone who’s mature and intelligent enough to evaluate films based on a more thoughtful set of criteria than how much its female stars weigh.

Photo: Getty Images

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    • jaci

      Maybe rex reed should look in a mirror. he’s not what he used be either……

    • Audrey

      Rex Reed is an insensitive PR**CK! Melissa McCarthy is great. She if funny and talented and who the hell cares what Rex Reed thinks??

    • Whatever

      80% of the jokes on her awful sitcom and all her movies area about how fat she is. She is annoying and her “comedy” is more akin to 80s slapstick humor at best. I read an interview where she said she “wants to be respected” for her “craft”. Well, you were unjustly nominated for shitting in a sink, kudos in your “craft”. You can’t defend someone against comments when all she does is make those same comments about herself. And before anyone says its I’d a “defense mechanism”, she is an adult being paid millions of dollars and someone else is writing her material which she sees well in advance. She’s not a victim, she is simply cashing in on being obese. At least when Chris Farley did it, he was actually funny

      • http://twitter.com/backarack C.B.

        ^ Thank you.

      • Katie

        1. Just because McCarthy calls herself fat doesn’t mean that Reed wasn’t completely unprofessional and sexist saying so in his “review”.

        2. Just because ANYONE calls themselves fat (or otherwise insults themselves) doesn’t give other people license to ridicule them.

        3. Mocking someone for their weight is NOT a movie review. For someone who’s been reviewing movies for like, 1,000 years, he should be capable of making deeper observations.

        Oh yeah, and he’s a pudgy drunk…but that’s kinda beside the point, isn’t it?

      • Whatever

        1. How does it make it sexist? You just brought sex into it for no reason so I’m assuming you are one of those people that think that if anything is said bad about a person and that person happens to be a woman, that it is sexist as well.

        2-3. If you tell fat jokes about yourself and that is the majority of your career (again, haven’t seen Mike &N Molly but 80% of the jokes shown in the commercials are fat jokes and there are PLENTY of fat jokes in this movie), then YES, you have 100% right to mention it in a review and you have every right to call them fat if they are paid millions of dollars to call themselves fat. This isn’t high school. There are no “deeper” observations to make about this movie. It’s one fat joke after another when she is on the screen, so why should a writer have to complete avoid a large portion of what makes up this movie? It’s like not be able to mention superheroes while reviewing the Avengers because it offends superheroes. If you don’t like it, don’t build your career around it.

        And, you even mentioning that he is pudgy or a drunk completely and utterly destroys any kind of points you are trying to make and makes you a hypocrite. Even if you were trying to make a point by ironically mentioning it, it was still mentioned and therefore makes YOU a hater. The worse part is that he builds his career around writing, not making fat jokes about himself so that makes your insult even worse.

        As soon as a professional writer calls out Adele for being fat, then you might have a case. Why? Because she isn’t paid millions of dollars to sing songs about her weight. There is a reason why Rex Reed called out McCarthy for her weight and hasn’t called out other overweight actors or actresses. Why? because he is simply reviewing what she is putting out there herself. If she wants to be respected, do it on her merits, not the fact that she has some extra pounds. Have respect for yourself and maybe others will follow

      • JWinchester3567

        1 it’s sexiest cause it’s a man saying it about a woman. Two fat jokes about yourself is 1 thing but he’s not talking about himself is he?

    • Fat The Brat

      Rex Reed is ugly. Melissa McCarthy can always loose weight… what can he do?

      • Hannah

        You’re still calling someone out on his appearance… and you’re saying at Melissa’s weight is the problem by saying she could remedy things by losing weight. Good contribution, Fat the Brat.

    • disqus_bhosGL2XMz

      Like they say those who can do those that can’t critic. Reed is a sad and pathetic man. I’ve learned if the critics hate it fans love it and critics love it fans hate it.

    • GoMonster

      Review of UP IN SMOKE: Cheech Marin is nothing but a male pothead.

      OOH! Sexist and mean to marijuana smokers! Shouldn’t be mentioned in a review!!!