I don’t understand why body type has to come into play during film reviews. Unless it is an essential part to the role an actor is playing, there is no need to make comments. Someone forgot to tell New York Observer film critic Rex Reed that it’s not necessary.
In his review of the Melissa McCarthy/Jason Bateman action comedy Identity Thief, Reed not only trashes the film, but McCarthy’s appearance as well. He calls her “cacophonous, tractor-sized” and a “female hippo.” He also goes on to say:
“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?”
Rex’s criticisms are very mean spirited. It’s one thing not to like McCarthy’s performance, but why is it necessary to throw in comments about her body size, especially when she’s been so candid about her struggles with weight loss and accepting her curves. In the November 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping, McCarthy said:
“I don’t really know why I’m not thinner than I am. I don’t really drink soda, I don’t have a sweet tooth, and we eat healthfully at home […] Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give it 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.”
As a woman who has spent most of their life plus-sized, I can tell you, seeing these criticisms is hurtful. Sure, it’s easy to laugh it off and call Reed an asshole, but these messages get internalized, that once again, plus-sized people are being told they’re disgusting and should be locked away, never to be seen. It’s sick. Clearly, Reed is not going to be responsible for the end of McCarthy’s career (which doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all,) but as a professional, he should keep his criticisms about the film itself, not the appearance of the actresses–Bateman got away with being “attractive.”
I’m sick of the sexism and fat shaming in Hollywood, aren’t you, LivLunatics? Ugh. Are you sick of criticisms like Reed’s? Have you seen Identity Thief? Did McCarthy’s figure ruin the film?