If you’ve seen your 40th birthday, or even your 30th, chances are you’ve had the thought that the world is getting meaner. Mom vs. NotMom. Working Mom vs. Stay-at-Home Mom. Red State vs. Blue State. Social media bears some of the blame, but as they say about guns, it’s people who pull the trigger. In every example, it’s a choice to throw aside compassion in favor of in-your-face abuse.
The current example is by longtime film critic Rex Reed who tried to pit Fat Girl vs. Skinny Girl in his review of the hit film Identity Thief. Unnecessary comments about plus-size actress Melissa McCarthy describe her as “tractor-sized”, a “screeching, humongous creep”, and a “female hippo” who participates in a “grotesque sex scene”.
It should be noted that comments about the size of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie generally focus on how obesity may jeopardize his ability to govern, period. Seems like over-the-top rudeness is reserved for women.
Mr. Reed doesn’t like Identity Thief; that’s clear. Other reviewers have panned it, too — the movie, not the people in it. It was Mr. Reed’s highly personal attack that’s drawn fire across the Internet from ordinary folk and famous ones, too. The director of Ms. McCarthy’s hit movie Bridesmaids is one of many Hollywood stars, including Melissa’s cousin Jenny McCarthy, who’ve complained directly (and profanely) via Twitter.
Mr. Reed first responded to the backlash saying he’s a victim of calculated PR by the Identity Thief studio because “only carefully-organized plots can turn into this kind of out-of-control mess”. Then, he put his other foot in his mouth, saying: “I object to using health issues like obesity as comedy talking points. That’s what this girl does! This Melissa Manchester…”
Ms. McCarthy has remained silent about the nasty critique, and some say the film’s #1 box office earnings in its first weekend (bigger than Bridesmaids!) is the best revenge. Melissa Manchester, by the way, is a Grammy-winning singer popular in the ’70s and ’80s. Mr. Reed, 74, should consider apologizing to her as well.
Image Credit: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press