Actress Melissa McCarthy has had enough of Hollywood sexism, lashing out at a film critic for making hurtful comments about her appearance in a review of 2014’s Tammy.
McCarthy was at the Toronto Film Festival last year promoting St Vincent when she was approached by a critic who wanted to praise the film.
McCarthy recognised the critic and asked if he was the one who wrote about her in the Tammy review.
According to a new interview in Entertainment Weekly, she asked him: “Are you the one who wrote I was only a good actor when I looked more attractive and that my husband should never be allowed to direct me because he allowed me to look so homely?”
He was that guy.
“Would you say that to any guy? When John C. Reilly—or any actor—is playing a character that is depressed and dejected, would you say, ‘Well, you look terrible!’?”
She also asked the critic if he had any daughters. He said he had one, so she asked: “Do you tell her she’s only worthwhile or valid when she’s pretty?”
Good on her! Needless to say the critic was left speechless and probably felt a little bit stupid.
McCarthy said she doesn’t often speak out about sexism in the media, but has been thinking about it a lot.
“It’s an intense sickness,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “For someone who has two daughters, I’m wildly aware of how deep that rabbit hole goes. But I just don’t want to start listening to that stuff. I’m trying to take away the double standard of ‘You’re an unattractive bitch because your character was not skipping along in high heels’.”
This isn’t the first time film reviews have attacked McCarthy’s appearance.
In 2013, Melissa’s cousin Jenny McCarthy had a few words to say to a film critic who likened Melissa McCarthy to a “female hippo” and called her “tractor sized”, while reviewing her film Identity Thief.
Rex Reed of the New York Observer wrote about McCarthy, saying she was a “gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success.”
Jenny quickly spoke up, saying that Melissa was a very talented woman and that Rex Reed can go to hell.
It’s great to see her family and friends are looking out for her!
Bridesmaids director Paul Feig also tweeted about the incident: “I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go f— himself.”
McCarthy has now sworn off reading negative press, saying that reading it hurts her heart. But she will continue making her hilarious movies, not to mention being a great role model for many women out there.
McCarthy’s new film, Spy, is in cinemas in Australia this Thursday 21 May.