In early February, New York Observer film critic Rex Reed made waves for his rather repugnant review of “Identity Thief,” in which he referred to star Melissa McCarthy as “cacophonous” and “tractor-sized.” It was a remarkably cruel and out-of-bounds piece of writing; one McCarthy graciously chose to ignore. Until now.
During an interview with the New York Times to promote her upcoming buddy comedy “The Heat,” co-staring Sandra Bullock, McCarthy finally broke her silence on the matter. She tells the publication that her initial reaction had been “Really?” before becoming, “Why would someone O.K. that?”
Without mentioning Reed’s name, McCarthy says, “I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really and spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing songs.”
McCarthy does note that, had this occurred when she was 20, “it may have crushed me.” But she says that now as a mother raising two daughters in “a strange epidemic of body image and body dysmorphia,” articles like Reed’s “just add to all those younger girls, that are not in a place in their life where they can say, ‘That doesn’t reflect on me.’
“That makes it more true,” she adds. “It means you don’t actually look good enough.” About to add more, McCarthy was cut off by a long and loud test of the fire alarm in the restaurant the interview was taking place. After a laugh, she says, “I imagine that’s my publicist. The gods didn’t want us discussing this.”
A truly classy response from an equally classy woman.