Rex Reed went on Mark Simone’s show on WOR 710 AM in New York this morning (don’t worry, I don’t know what that is either) to respond to the controversy surrounding his Identity Thief review. If you’ll remember, that was the one Burnsy told you about where Rex called Melissa McCarthy a hippo, and described her as “tractor-sized.” This controversy, according to Reed, has culminated in death threats, and emails wishing he’d get cancer. Speaking with Simone, and you knew this was going to be a favorable news outlet when Simone hilariously said during Rex Reed’s introduction that “telling Rex Reed how to review a movie is like telling Babe Ruth how to hold a bat,” Reed seemed to think that the controversy was all something planned and orchestrated by Universal’s “publicity machine.” He also ascribed Daniel Craig’s success, in part, to having “a good, hard, well-toned body,” but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.
With a voice that sounded a little like the late Huell Howser, Reed said of his haters “This is an organized group of people, believe me. And it’s all being fanned because of Universal’s desire to sell tickets to a bad movie,” which does seem somewhat plausible. He then went on a side rant about Facebook groups “telling kids obesity is good”, saying “only carefully-organized plots can turn into this kind of out-of-control mess.”
That is, the out-of-control mess confined mainly to Rex Reed’s email inbox. To rebut, speaking only for ourselves, we had zero contact with anyone from Universal before writing that post (or after writing it, for that matter). Burnsy saw Reed’s review (likely in the course of writing up a Weekend Movie Guide) and thought it was funny, especially so considering we’d already known Rex Reed as enjoyably un-PC and kind of nutty. We like to bust his balls because it’s fun. I hope he keeps writing and doesn’t get cancer, but I do feel a little bad about focusing the Eye of Sauron that is the internet on poor old Rex Reed (or at least contributing to it).
Reed, after proudly proclaiming that movie reviews are protected speech, defended bringing McCarthy’s weight into his review, arguing that she was already trying to capitalize on it herself. “I object to using health issues like obesity as comedy talking points, ” Reed said. “That’s what this girl does! This Melissa Manchester…”
That’s right, Rex Reed called Melissa McCarthy “Melissa Manchester,” which is just about the most Rex Reed goddamn thing ever. He went on to make fun of people who emailed him about ‘Declined,’ mistakenly thinking the headline of his review was name of his movie. This without acknowledging that he’d just called the star “Melissa Manchester.” A+ for Rex Reedness.