Melissa McCarthy is A 'Female Hippo,' Says Movie Critic Rex Reed; Readers Outraged

Movie Critic's Weight Jabs Cause Controversy

Melissa McCarthy is a "female hippo," "tractor-sized" and "humongous," according to The New York Observer movie critic Rex Reed. The critic tore her latest movie "Identity Thief" to shreds in a review, but many fans of the comedienne are most upset at his jabs at her weight.

Melissa McCarthy starred in "Identity Thief" with Patrick Bateman, a film about Sandy Patterson (Bateman) who seeks to get his revenge on the woman stealing his identity and running up large credit cards bills. Though the comedy has its share of hijinks- at one point, Bateman is forced to steal clothing from a dead vagabond to cover his nakedness- Reed focused on McCarthy's weight even more.

"Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success," wrote Reed. "Poor Jason Bateman. How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck?"

Movie critics and fans alike disliked what they viewed as a personal attack on McCarthy, who has publicly addressed her struggle to lose weight and stay healthy.

"There's a fine line between criticism and insult- and the New York Observer's film critic crosses it," Us Weekly said. "The comments about the Mike & Molly star's size are a low blow, especially considering that the 42-year-old actress has been so candid in the past about her struggle to lose weight and accept her curves."

"Most of us have long since dismissed Rex Reed as joke," agreed Sasha Stone of, adding that McCarthy is an Oscar-nominated actress.

McCarthy has addressed questions about her weight and size, saying she hopes it never affects her daughters Vivian, 5, and Georgette, 2.

"Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give it a single thought," the Emmy-winning comedienne told Good Housekeeping last year. "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."

Reed has not responded to the controversy, but he is known for his infamously critical and mean reviews. His most recent pieces demonstrated that fact: "Side Effects" by Steven Soderbergh he called "pretentious," and action flick "Parker" featured "an ever-stale Statham [delivering] yet another lockjawed performance."