Melissa McCarthy, despite her ridiculous amount of talent and accomplishment, is still dealing with some pretty offensive stuff in interviews.
In a cover feature with InStyle, the actress and comedian opened up about a particularly galling interview, in which the interviewer seemed to torment her about her size. “He kept asking, ‘Are you shocked that you actually work in this business at your tremendous size?’ He was like, ‘Oh, your tremendous size, you can actually work?’ I just remember all the blood drained out of me. I thought, ‘With my tremendous size, I could tackle you so quickly’,” McCarthy said, using her wit to recall what was surely a deeply upsetting encounter. And he just wouldn’t drop it. She continued, “There were two cameras on him, and one was on me, and he went back to that question three or four times, and I just kept talking about the script or how fun (Bridesmaids director) Paul Feig was. He was looking around like, ‘She’s crazy.’ When we left, their producer was horrified and said, ‘We’ll never play what he said. I’m so sorry.’”
To her credit, she declined to mention the interviewer by name, but did drop a pretty strong hint, saying he “later lost his job for a conversation he had on a bus with someone else.” Many online users inferred it was none other than Billy Bush — who was fired after tapes of a conversation between him and now-President of a certain country came to light.
Interview questions putting down his interview subject may be why Billy Bush was dropped so easily after his last bit of lunacy.
— teresa metz (@travler76945) January 10, 2019
— Melissa Schulz (@ThePrettyPixie) January 10, 2019
Instead of focusing on her talent, wit and versatility as an actress (she was just BAFTA-nominated for a dramatic role), it’s pretty snooze-worthy to hear of an interviewer focusing on body image rather than her body of work. The fact that he could even ask such an offensive question not just once, but multiple times, so unabashedly in a room of people shows how normalized fat-shaming is.
And we’re all aware of the double standard experienced by women in the entertainment business, something McCarthy herself made a point of highlighting. “It happens all the time, to the point where it’s fascinating, because they don’t do it to men. Not to be a jerk or single him out, but when John Goodman was heavier, did anybody ever talk about his girth?” Hardly seems like that’s been an obstacle for Goodman, or many other male stars that are larger than the Hollywood standard.
Either way, we hope the days of such questions are behind Melissa, and we’re glad to see her getting well-deserved attention for all the right reasons.