Rex Reed Ripped for Calling Melissa McCarthy 'Tractor-Sized' and 'Hippo' in Review

Tim Kenneally
The Wrap
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Rex Reed Ripped for Calling Melissa McCarthy 'Tractor-Sized' and 'Hippo' in Review

Rex Reed's review of the Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy comedy "Identity Thief" is drawing the ire of readers and media outlets alike, after Reed made disparaging comments about McCarthy's weight.

Also read: "Identity Thief" Reviews: Is Melissa McCarthy's Latest Another "Bridesmaids"?

Reed is catching heat after calling McCarthy "'tractor-sized" and characterizing her as a "hippo."

"Melissa McCarthy ('Bridesmaids') is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success," Reed also wrote in The New York Observer review.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the media was quick to pick up on the jumbo-sized insults, characterizing Reed's review with such words as "insulting," "scathing" and "nasty."

The comments section of the review was hardly less forgiving of Reed.

"Wow, this review is seriously offensive," one poster commented. "Calling McCarthy a tractor-sized hippo? Remind me never to read The Observer again."

Another commenter was even more blunt, beginning his message, "You sir, are a vile c---."

Reed, below right, isn't the only one to have commented on McCarthy's weight in reviewing the film, though other critics were more measured in their comments.

"Melissa McCarthy stole big chunks of a great show in the 2011 'Bridesmaids': She was Megan, the bridesmaid of formidable girth and unstoppable id," the Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern wrote.

"Though the actress often uses her plus size as a punch line in the movie, it serves even better for her character's emotional arc," Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times offered.

Reed has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment. Nor has a spokeswoman for McCarthy. However, the Observer's editor Ken Kurson stood by Reed's review.

"Rex Reed is a national treasure. He has a right to his opinion and The New York Observer's smart, passionate readers have a right to disagree with his opinion," Kurson told TheWrap.

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'Identity Thief' Reviews: Is Melissa McCarthy's Latest Another 'Bridesmaids'?