Rex Reed, ‘NY Observer’ Reviewer, Slammed For Sexist Snark On Melissa McCarthy

Justifying it for God only knows what reason, flailing New York City newspaper the New York Observer published a movie review of the comedy Identify Thief which called its Oscar-nominated star Melissa McCarthy a "hippo," "tractor-sized" and said she’s made her career on being "obese." In the days since, reviewer Rex Reed has taken an absolute pounding in the press.  

Bridesmaids director Paul Feig minced no words, informing Reed he could go fuck himself:

Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet, himself an actor who is on the husky side, also singed the reviewer:

A bunch of other Hollywood types came to Melissa McCarthy’s side, which the Hollywood Reporter has rounded up here. Frankly, I still this this McCarthy/Jason Batemen flick looks hilarious:

 

The question remainds why the Observer — felt it was the proper editorial decision to publish these sexist, fat-shaming comments. Do they actually believe that calling one of America’s most beloved actresses a "hippo" would spur ad sales? Increase subscriptions? Is the paper’s web site that badly in need of pageviews that they allowed this offensive trash to be published? Is this what the Observer is going to be like under new editor Ken Kurson, described by WWD as  a personal friend of Kushner’s who has more recently been involved in political consulting."

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

BlackBook Editors Look for Love, Attend Hipster Shabbats

It doesn’t seem like we have time for anything—at least that’s how it feels for us, sometimes—but when we’re not blogging or interviewing celebrities or putting together fashion shoots, we manage to have social lives, as well. Take our photo editor, Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez (pictured at left) for example: you will recognize her in the pages of Time Out New York this week, as she’s included as one of our fine city’s most eligible single ladies. Meanwhile, I’m off being a Shabbos Goy, bringing Coke cakes and tattered copies of controversial William Styron novels in tow. I know, we can barely keep up with our wild lives, either.

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Gay Actors Are Coming Out in a “New” Way

June is Gay Pride Month, so everybody’s talkin’ about gay people. Yesterday the New York Observer took a look at the business of outing celebrities (while slyly suggesting that Gossip Girl star Chase Crawford might indeed be in a glass closet himself). Today Entertainment Weekly shared a sneak peak at this week’s cover story, which focuses on "the new art" of coming out. On the cover are popular TV actors like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Lynch, Zachary Quinto, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jim Parsons, as well as comedian Wanda Sykes and Bravo’s Andy Cohen. But is this a rising trend or just a puffy trend piece?

It’s true that we’ve come a very long way from when Ellen DeGeneres came out fifteen years ago, which truly ushered in a new age in which LGBTQ actors (and, hell, normal people) were seen in a completely different light. For a community still struggling with the impact of HIV/AIDS and continued discrimination, DeGeneres and her show’s treatment of her sexuality was groundbreaking—displaying it matter-of-factly and as a normal thing rather than something to be terrified of or find revolting. While her show was cancelled soon after, she bounced right back and is today a much-loved TV personality. And her coming out certainly inspired others to do the same. As EW says on its site:

Even if it’s accomplished in a subordinate clause or a passing reference, coming out casually is, in its way, as activist as DeGeneres’ Time cover, although few of these actors would probably choose to label themselves as such. The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow: This is part of who I am, I don’t consider it a big deal or a crisis, and if you do, that’s not my problem. It may sound like a shrug, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for indifference. By daring anyone to overreact, the newest generation of gay public figures is making a clear statement that there is a “new normal” — and it consists of being plainspoken, clear, and truthful about who you are.

But, are people being plainspoken, clear, and truthful? Jim Parsons made headlines when his sexuality was revealed in a New York Times profile last month, but it was buried in the end of piece. Is it not a big deal that someone on a high-rated show is gay and has kept it mostly hidden from his audience for years? EW also brings up T.R. Knight’s name, but you may remember that he was outed after gossipy rumors about his sexuality circulated online following a on-set fight in which his Grey’s Anatomy co-star Isaiah Washington called him a "faggot." 

And what can we say about the fact that there are still no major film actors who are open and out? Isn’t it still clear that an actor’s sexuality impacts his or her career? Of the eight celebrities on the magazine’s cover, only three have recently played or are currently playing gay characters on TV. (Neil Patrick Harris, for example, has been playing a womanizing sleazeball for years.) In an industry in which most gay characters are reserved for straight actors (actors who are then lauded with awards for bravely portraying those who are generally doomed), I ask this question: Should we reward a handful of people who treat their sexuality with a casual shrug, or should we ask for more? After all, there are still people who every day struggle with their sexuality, often keeping it hidden from friends and loved ones out of fear. Whether you want to admit it or not, coming out is still sort of a big deal.

How We Take Advantage of Closeted Actors

The New York Observer has a great piece today about the tricky nature of outing celebrities. While most people (those who work in the media, at least) assume that it’s a known fact that Anderson Cooper is gay, the article shows that there are still some people who haven’t figured it out! And should we be reporting on that sort of thing? Is it a story? As Lance Bass, former boyband member and currently out homo, commented, "If you’re in the closet you get made fun of more than if you just come out!” It’s true that revealing the secret lives of famous people is not just enjoyable—it’s also a great way to get the attention of those who care about the personal lives of celebrities. But what’s the real takeaway from all of this? Wouldn’t it be kinda fun to date a closeted celebrity?

Let’s take a look at the opening paragraph of the Observer piece:

At a crowded movie premiere in Midtown recently, The Observer witnessed a young movie and TV star—a dashing young man who’s been involved with several starlets despite whispers about his close relationships with other men—sitting for the entire party in close conversation with a well-groomed gent, even as his co-stars circulated. As we passed, the plus-one stared us down, as if to say, “Step off,” or perhaps, “Don’t you dare write about this.”

I want to be that well-groomed plus-one!

I once described myself (years ago, mind you, during my silly, post-graduate, slow gravitation toward eventual maturity) as “a starfucker who doesn’t know any stars.” At this point, famous people don’t really excite me. You see them all of the time in New York. They’re just like us! But there’s something about the furtive nature of dating someone who has to keep his entire romantic life secret. Wouldn’t it be fun to be the guy that everyone knows is sleeping with the TV star, but whose status isn’t recognized out of a polite nature for said TV star’s privacy?

Sure, there’s the downside of never being recognized as someone’s significant other, and that seems like it’d be quite the strain on a relationship. But, let’s face it: actors are probably the worst at relationships anyway, so you’re already holding your delicate feelings to a burning flame. Why not go balls-out? At least you have a great story when your ex shows up on the cover of People above the headline, “Yep, I’m gay!” “No shit,” you can mutter to the magazine stand at the grocery check-out line as you clutch your diet soda and pint of ice cream. 

Who Wears Short-Shorts?

If I had my druthers, I’d wear shorts year around. Then again, having my druthers would consist of sailing the blue, warm waters of the Caribbean and points south of Mexico. Listen, I like shorts, Bermuda shorts specifically. But there’s a fear in wearing shorts in more style-conscious urban areas. The New York Observer explores the psychology behind the fear of shorts-wearing, and more disturbingly, the new trend of short-shorts for men. My advice is unless you want to walk around looking like John McEnroe or Larry Bird in the 1970s, don’t wear them. So who’s behind this terrifying new trend? Why, it’s Dov Charney and his minions at American Apparel of course. Mathew Swenson, a spokesman for AA, said that while short-shorts used to be solely hipster-garb, they’re becoming more accepted by mainstream wearers. “Now you prove your masculinity by wearing short shorts or pink underwear,” he said. Or by shooting something.