There are two sacred rules when it comes to commenting on a woman's looks: Never comment on a lady's pregnant belly before verifying that she is, in fact, with child; and never never -- under any circumstances -- call out a woman for being overweight.
New York Observer critic Rex Reed broke the second of those rules this week when he called "Identity Thief" star Melissa McCarthy "tractor-sized" and her character a "humongous creep" in his pan of the comedy that lands in theaters this weekend.
As if that wasn't enough, Reed's review is riddled with even more weight-related insults, calling the Academy Award-nominated, 42-year-old mother of two a "hippo" and "a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success."
Oh no he didn't!
Not only did readers come to McCarthy's defense in the comments section of Reed's online article, but people took to Twitter to air their grievances against the seasoned, 74-year-old film critic:
Oh, I'm so glad someone called this critic out for this. Fat shaming is not cool. tvguide.com/News/Critic-Ca…
— Sophie (@tomfoolkitten) February 8, 2013
Anyone want to scan back through Rex Reed's reviews of Kevin James' movies and see if he calls the man an obese hippo? Nah, me neither.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) February 8, 2013
Screw you Rex Reed. You can not like a movie but don't call Melissa McCarthy names. Unprofessional. You try make the whole world laugh!
— Kelly McCarron (@kellybmccarron) February 8, 2013
Ugh, so sick of starlets like Melissa McCarthy getting roles purely on how they look. So superficial, Hollywood!
— Danny Mac (@MacTwelve) February 8, 2013
Even Judd Apatow, who helped elevate McCarthy's fame as producer of "Bridesmaids," came to his colleague's defense, responding to a tweet that seemed to side with Reed with some name-calling of his own (essentially calling Reed old): "@DavidPoland I thought he died in 1978. Seriously. Is he the same guy or is it like Dear Abbie and someone else took over using same name?"
Speaking of Twitter, in a world where every journalist is as valuable as his or her last tweet -- it appears the ever-so-savvy Mr. Reed has barely made a peep with any tweets.
McCarthy has commented on her size, telling Good Housekeeping last year, "It's something I'm always working on." She also noted problems that came with new motherhood, saying, "You need to give yourself a break [after childbirth] to get your body working again... I ran right back to work. My back was just destroyed after pregnancy. I almost had to have surgery."
Beyond web denizen response, publications ranging from the Huffington Post to US Weekly have covered the scathing story.
The bright side: McCarthy lovers (and there are a lot of them) could boost the opening weekend of "Identity Thief" -- in theaters as of today.
Watch 'Identity Thief' Insider Access with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman:
Follow me on Twitter (@meriahonfiah)