Melissa McCarthy: Sexism Takes Many Forms, From Renee Zellweger’s Appearance Controversy To ‘Female Hippo’ Slam

When Renee Zellweger recently appeared at a gala, criticism instantly erupted about the noticeable changes in her face. Plastic surgeons rushed to analyze before-and-after photos to try to detect plastic surgery hints, while social media exploded. Now Melissa McCarthy is attacking sexism in Hollywood and pointing out the many forms that it takes, reported Entertainment Weekly.

The most recent occasion for the outspoken actress to try to make a difference occurred at the Toronto Film Festival. A critic slammed Melissa in Tammy. And although he now wanted to compliment her on a new film, St. Vincent, McCarthy made it clear that she hadn’t forgotten his cruelty.

“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?” she demanded.

When the critic confessed that she was right, Melissa retaliated with accusations of sexism. Moreover, when he revealed that he had a daughter, she expressed her concern.

“Would you say that to any guy? When John C. Reilly—or any actor—is playing a character that is depressed and dejected, would you say, ‘Well, you look terrible!’?…Watch what you say to [your daughter]. Do you tell her she’s only worthwhile or valid when she’s pretty?”

With two daughters of her own, McCarthy is particularly concerned about what she sees as a double standard.

“For someone who has two daughters, I’m wildly aware of how deep that rabbit hole goes. But I just don’t want to start listening to that stuff. I’m trying to take away the double standard of ‘You’re an unattractive b*tch because your character was not skipping along in high heels.'”

Melissa also has had to deal with weight-shaming, reported People.

Movie critic Rex Reed attacked McCarthy’s weight in his review of Identity Thief.

“[McCarthy is a] female hippo [and] gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious,” said Reed.

Melissa quickly made it clear that she would not tolerate those types of remarks, again expressing her concern about the impact on young women.

“Just add to all those younger girls, that are not in a place in their life where they can say, ‘That doesn’t reflect on me.'”

Renee Zellweger also has made it clear that she feels upset by the attention paid to her appearance, reported Fox News. The Internet exploded when the Bridget Jones actress looked almost unrecognizable at a red carpet event.

“It looks like she had eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty, botox, lip fillers and cheek fillers,” theorized Dr. Todd Schlifstein. “It appears she changed the shape of eye and eyelid. She removed excess skin, tightened skin around the area.”

But Renee fought back after the backlash from her appearance at the gala, as the Inquisitr reported.

“I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows,” she said of the plastic surgery rumors. “My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy.”

[Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for SeriousFun Children’s Network]