Rex Reed, the New York Observer film critic who screened the latest buddy comedy, "Identity Thief," didn't like the film very much. But it's his scathing review of star Melissa McCarthy's weight that is causing outrage.
Reed refers to McCarthy as a "female hippo" and consistently denigrates her figure as well as her comedic talents throughout the review. Here's just a snippet:
"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).”
Reed goes on to describe McCarthy as "obese and obnoxious with equal success," while praising her co-star, Jason Bateman: "How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck?"
That a critic wrote a scathing review of a film is nothing new, but it's Reed's body-shaming that has readers outraged on McCarthy's behalf. The comments from readers have eviscerated Reed, citing the review as "vile," "offensive," and many calling for Reed to apologize to the star.
McCarthy has always been open about her struggles with weight, but insists she is in a healthy place. In an interview with Good Housekeeping last year, the 42-year-old admitted that "sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought. But I am weirdly healthy, so I don't beat myself up about it -- it wouldn't help, and I don't want to pass that on to my girls," said the mother of two.