Film Critic Rex Reed Calls Melissa McCarthy 'Hippo' and 'Tractor-Sized,' Faces Angry Backlash

Melissa McCarthy at the "Identity Theft" premiere
Melissa McCarthy at the "Identity Theft" premiere
 Getty Images

New York Observer critic Rex Reed's scathing takedown of the new comedy Identity Thief is earning him some livid reviews.

That Reed disliked the movie, calling it "dreck" and a "chunk of junk" is hardly controversial; the film largely has been panned, earning a 26 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Reed, instead, is taking heat for his shots at star Melissa McCarthy's weight, which he repeatedly ripped in stark, derisive terms.

Film Review: 'Identity Thief'

In three paragraphs, Reed manages to shred the Oscar-nominated actress for her weight four times, calling her "tractor-sized," a "screeching, humongous creep" and a "female hippo." He dismisses her career as a study in "being obese and obnoxious with equal success."

The blowback came almost immediately, in the comments section of the review itself.

One commenter swore off ever reading the Observer again, while another accused Reed of perpetuating a double standard because "if Ms. McCarthy was a man, you wouldn't even think of calling her fat because you'd get your old ass kicked in a minute."

Others agreed, saying that Reed wouldn't say negative things about the weight of actors such as Jonah Hill or John Goodman. Yet another said of Reed that "he's pushing 80 and will be dead soon. Enjoy your remaining years, asshole!"

Paul Feig, who directed McCarthy in her breakout Bridesmaids, tweeted, "For his catty and school bully name-calling of the supremely talented Melissa McCarthy, I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go fuck himself."

Reed gained infamy when he led off his review of the first Sex and the City film by insulting Sarah Jessica Parker for having a mole on her chin.

"There's nothing wrong with Sarah Jessica Parker, that couldn't be cured by wart-removal surgery. That growth on her face just gets bigger with every close-up, and in the full-length movie version of Sex and the City it's so distracting you can't concentrate on anything else," he remarked. "It's not a beauty mark. I guess you can't tell a co-producer anything, but listen up, girl. At this point, you would make a wonderful Halloween witch."

Parker had the mole removed several months later.

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