A week after Melissa McCarthy said she felt "pity" for the New York Observer film critic who described her as a "tractor-sized" "female hippo" in his February review of "Identity Thief," Rex Reed came forward to announce he stands by all his original remarks.
In his response statement, the 74-year-old critic told Us Weekly that he doesn't have "anything personal against people with obesity" and added that his objections come when movies try to pass the condition off as something "funny."
"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," he wrote to Us Weekly in an email. "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.
As a critic whose opinions are constitutionally protected by law, I stand by all of my original remarks about Melissa McCarthy's obesity, which I consider about as amusing as cancer, and apologize for nothing," he concluded.
In his February review, Reed contended that "McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success" and added he felt bad for Jason Bateman -- her co-star in "Identity Thief" -- for geting "stuck in so much dreck."
Four months after the review came out, McCarthy, 40, said in an interview with the New York Times' Dave Itzkoff that she "felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate."