Rebel Wilson, whom you may recognize as Fat Amy from the Pitch Perfect trilogy, has gained a reputation for stealing the spotlight from the female lead in everything she appears in with her crack-of-a-whip wit and confident presence. This February, however, the Australian actress will be the headliner of New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic, which she also co-produced.
Wilson appeared on the Halloween episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote the film, which also stars Liam Hemsworth and Wilson’s Pitch Perfect love interest Adam Devine. Other than being a milestone in her career as the lead and co-producer on a film, Wilson also expressed pride that her role marks a new milestone in cinematic history, or so she assumed.
Watch until the end of the clip below to hear her sound off her “achievement”:
“I’m proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy,” said Wilson to DeGeneres.
While she seemed very sure of herself when she announced that, quickly after, @Halfapintdoll took to Twitter to point out a crucial flaw in the actress’ proclamation.
I love @RebelWilson as much as the next girl, but she isn’t the first plus sized woman to play the lead in a romantic comedy. Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique have both played romcom leads ? https://t.co/l2uEpwvcsF— Halfapintdoll (@Halfapintdoll) November 1, 2018
Obviously, Wilson made the innocent mistake of overlooking the Academy Award-nominated Queen Latifah’s roles in 2006’s Last Holiday and 2010’s Just Wright (which she also co-produced), both of which were romantic comedies, as well as Academy Award-winner Mo’Nique’s role in the 2006 romantic comedy Phat Girlz, which the comedian also executive produced. It was a simple mistake that one apologetic Tweet would easily fix. An apologetic tween most likely could have fixed it then, but that’s not what Wilson decided to do.
Hey girl! Yeah I of course know of these movies but it was questionable as to whether: 1. Technically those actresses were plus size when filming those movies or 2. Technically those films are catorgorized/billed as a studio rom-com with a sole lead. So there’s a slight grey area— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 1, 2018
Instead of admitting to her mistake, she still felt the need to defend herself. Halfapintdoll was not the only one to criticize Wilson for her remarks. Several women, including renowned activist Blair Imani, tweeted at the actress in protest of her comments and her “grey area” defense explanation. She also made an effort to respond to them… by blocking them.
I shared my honest & respectful thoughts on Rebel Wilson’s erasure of iconic plus sized women before her.— Nabela Noor (@Nabela) November 3, 2018
Her blocking a fellow plus woman in this industry is a reminder that she doesn’t want to acknowledge her plus peers but rather ignore them entirely. pic.twitter.com/icUvY9QrCR
By the way, this was literally all I said to her in response to that “yeah, but” response she got.— mercury is here so I am not ? (@MsPackyetti) November 5, 2018
This “block party” went on for the better part of a weekend. Wilson choose to stay silent while silencing those who spoke out against her comments, which was predominantly plus-size women of color. However, it took one person entering the conversation to change everything.
Hey my sweet sister. Let’s please not allow this business to erase our talent with giving grey areas and technicalities. Take a moment and know the history. DON’T BE A PART OF ERASING IT. I wish you the best.— Mo'Nique Worldwide (@moworldwide) November 3, 2018
Mo’Nique’s wise words were enough to inspire Wilson to end the “block party.” She also broke her silence by unblocking her critics and apologizing for not listening to them.
However, making amends does not always garner a full replenishment of respect.
How this controversy may effect the performance of Isn’t It Romantic is also too early to tell. If that fails, perhaps Wilson can redeem herself by becoming the first plus-size actress to lead an action movie.
What do you think? Was Wilson undeservedly bashed for an innocent mistake or were her unfairly silenced critics not harsh enough? Let us know in the comments below!