Melissa McCarthy has made a name for herself in Hollywood, but she still faces sexism in the industry.
The actress, 44, recounted on the Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday a confrontation she had with a male reporter who wrote a negative review of her 2014 comedy Tammy, in which her appearance in the film was criticized.
“We got a lot of challenging critiques from that movie, which I also learned maybe not to read any,” she told host Ellen DeGeneres. “But there was one [reporter] who said a lot of things, and I met him at the Toronto Film Festival and he actually said ‘I’m the one that wrote this.’ ”
McCarthy recalled that the story said she was only a “good actress” when she looks attractive. (She first detailed the incident in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly.)
“It was a lot of things and just, like, kind of ‘How dare women not look beautiful, perfect and attractive in a movie,’ ” she said. “And he came up to me, and I was surprised that he talked to me because he was there for a different movie.”
The Spy star explained to DeGeneres that she confronted the journalist, asking him if he’d have the same critique for a man. His response? “Well, you really looked bad.”
“And I said, ‘I hope you don’t have a daughter,’ and I didn’t mean that in a mean way,” said McCarthy. “And then I said, if she comes home and someone says you can’t have a job because you’re unattractive, are you gonna say, ‘That’s right?’ And he took that in his heart and he was like, ‘No, I would never want that to happen. I would never in a million years want that to happen.’ ”
The Mike and Molly actress mentioned that the reporter was a “loving father” and a “kind man,” but noted that his attitude speaks to an overall problem in Hollywood.
“I said, ‘Just know that every time you write stuff, every young girl in this country reads that and they just get a little bit chipped away,” the Emmy winner said. “And I just think that 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.”
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McCarthy, who, accompanied by DeGeneres, received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, said she believes these kinds of takedowns have become “a bad habit.”
“I just think it’s so easy to take a swipe, and I’m, like, just go the other way. Build it up,” McCarthy said.