Rex Reed is defending his controversial review of Melissa McCarthy's acting where he referred to the actress as "tractor-sized" in a statement.
The writer for the New York Observer posted a review of "Identity Thief" several months ago where he also referred to the film's star as a "female hippo." According to Reed, the 42-year-old actress is "a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success."
Following the post, many readers became incensed over Reed's comments about McCarthy, and more recently, the actress herself shared that she "felt really bad" for the writer.
Today, Reed defended himself against his angry readers and also reacted to McCarthy's "pity."
"I can only repeat what I have said before-- that I do not have, nor have I ever had, anything personal against people who suffer from obesity," the film critic wrote in an email to Us Weekly. "What I object to is the disgusting attempt to pretend obesity is funny. It is not remotely humorous, and every obese comedian who ever made jokes about the disease are now dead from strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes."
McCarthy had responded to Reed's February review of "Identity Thief" while speaking to The New York Times earlier this month.
"Really? Why would someone O.K. that," McCarthy asked during an interview.
The Emmy Award-winning actress fortunately did not let Reed's harsh critiques bring her down, but instead, allowed the words to remind her of the obstacles she has overcome.
"I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate," McCarthy told The Times. "I just thought, that's someone who's in a really bad 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 me songs."
Other reactions to Reed's review included fellow film critic Richard Roeper, who said that the writer used "mean-spirited name-calling in lieu of genuine criticism."