On Tuesday morning, National Public Radio listeners heard about a movie review of "Identity Theft" that attacked not only the movie, but also actress and Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy. Tony Sarabia, a host at the Chicago-based NPR station WBEZ (91.5-FM), talked to Nico Lang, who posted a blog on the NPR Web site taking Rex Reed to task for his scathing review.
Among other things, Lang had this to say:
"...McCarthy paid her dues, working her way up through The Groundlings and character acting in everything from Gilmore Girls to Samantha Who and The Back-Up Plan."
In his original New York Observer review, Reed referred to McCarthy as "cacophonous and tractor-sized" as well as saying she is a "gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success."
The review, which was dated Feb. 5, has seen the response of many media outlets, including the Huffington Post. On Feb. 8, Ashbey Riley referred to what Reed did as fat shaming and raised the question of a double standard when it comes to obesity in women versus men. On Feb. 10, a post by Juliet Jeske also asks about the discrepency and points out what she sees as a need for women of real body size to be in Hollywood. Lastly, on Feb. 15, the Huffington Post reported that McCarthy's cousin, Jenny McCarthy has come to the defense of the Plainfield native,
"Anyone to attack like that is just wrong and hurtful," she said in the story, "and it doesn't do anyone any good. Not even Rex Reed." Adding, "She's very, very, very talented and people know that. So, he can go to hell."
McCarthy is not only from Plainfield, but has admitted using a 5th grade teacher as inspiration in her role on Mike and Molly.
For her part, McCarthy has not responded to the review. But Reed has.
"I have too many friends that have died of obesity-related illnesses, heart problems and diabetes. … I have helped people try to lose weight, and I don't find this to be the subject of a lot of humor," Reed said according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter.