Low blow? Critic Rex Reed calls Melissa McCarthy 'hippo'

Long-time movie critic Rex Reed has unloaded on Melissa McCarthy in a scathing review of her new movie, "Identify Thief," calling her "cacophonous, tractor-sized," and a "female hippo."

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

Did Reed go too far? Other entertainment writers and outlets think so, unloading on Reed in return.

"There's a fine line between criticism and insult -- and the New York Observer's film critic crosses it," says Us Weekly magazine, calling Reed's review an attack "on a very personal level.

"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."

Sasha Stone, writing for Awardsdaily.com, took her own shot, noting that Reed's review left out two important words to describe Melissa: Oscar-nominated. "You know, most of us have long since dismissed Rex Reed as a joke," she wrote. "It’s a wonder he’s still a working critic while so many brilliant ones have lost their jobs ...

"So give it a rest, Rex Reed. Women have a hard enough time now just getting work period. The last thing they need is this taste nazi inflicting his own personal prejudices on his readers."

Cosmpolitan magazine gave Reed a taste of his own medicine: "Seriously, dude? What world do you live in where it's okay to rip a woman apart for her weight? It's like the equivalent of us publicly trashing a guy for his penis size—you just don't go there. Not that it should matter, but a little search by our buddy Google found that Reed is no bean pole himself. So we're really not sure where he gets off."

Us Weekly references an interview Melissa gave to Good Housekeeping last fall in which she said that "I don't really know why I'm not thinner than I am. I don't really drink soda, I don't have a sweet tooth, and we eat healthfully at home."

She said she didn't want to pass on body image issues to her daughters. "Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give it a single thought," she told Good Housekeeping.

"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. You just have to say, 'It's pretty damn good. I am right here at the moment and I'm OK with it. I've got other things to think about.'"

| Lisa Gutierrez