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Melissa McCarthy gives lesson on sexism in Hollywood: 'it's a bad habit'

By
Marilyn Malara
Melissa McCarthy discusses how she confronted a critic about his comments about her looks and taught him a lesson about the effects negative press can have on all women. Photo by The Ellen DeGeneres Show/EllenTube
Melissa McCarthy discusses how she confronted a critic about his comments about her looks and taught him a lesson about the effects negative press can have on all women. Photo by The Ellen DeGeneres Show/EllenTube

BURBANK, Calif., May 20 (UPI) -- Melissa McCarthy turned a confrontation into a lesson on love when she ran into a critic who wrote sexist comments about her appearance in Tammy.

The actress recounted the story on Wednesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, calling the writer a "loving father," who didn't know the effect his comments can have on a greater audience.

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In Entertainment Weekly's latest print issue, McCarthy said that she will steer clear from reading negative press. "I've stopped because I finally said, 'This is not making me better. This hurts my heart.'"

Some members of the press attacked her appearance in the film more so than her performance as an actress. Critics also commented on her marriage to actor and director Ben Falcone, who directed her in the comedy.

At the Toronto Film Festival last September, McCarthy ran into one writer who gave her a particularly scathing review about her appearance in the flick. She asked him, "Are you the one who wrote I was only a good actor when I looked more attractive and that my husband should never be allowed to direct me because he allowed me to look so homely?"

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He said yes. "Would you say that to any guy?" she asked.

The Mike and Molly actress then got personal with the writer, asking him if he had a daughter. When he confessed that he did, she flipped the conversation into a teachable moment. "Watch what you say to her," she warned. "Do you tell her she's only worthwhile or valid when she's pretty?"

"He spoke about his children so lovely," McCarthy told DeGeneres. "I said, 'if [your daughter] comes home and someone says 'you can't have a job cause you're attractive,'...are you going to say 'that's right'?"

"And he took that in his heart and said 'I would never in a million years want that to happen.'"

McCarthy joins the ranks of Anna Kendrick, Kristen Stewart, Emily Blunt and Emma Watson as the issue of sexism in the entertainment industry gains widespread attention.

"I just think we tear down women in this country for all these superficial reasons and women are so great and strong and I think he really heard that," she said to applause.

"I think it's a bad habit that we've gotten into and it's not that people are malicious," she told DeGeneres, "it's so easy to take a swipe."

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