Magnificent comedic genius Melissa McCarthy went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday and spoke about confronting a writer who dared question her journey to look anything less than Beyoncé-level flawless in the film Tammy (which is a movie about a woman who is supposed to look less than perfect). The male journalist couldn’t fathom how she (or her husband, who has directed McCarthy multiple times) would let herself look so ugly because she was “only a good actress when [she looks] attractive,” to which McCarthy replied that he would never ask that question of a man. She rightfully pointed out that “John C. Reilly played a really broken-down character and looked terrible” — yet that character development was viewed as an artistic choice for Reilly, and not for a female actor.
McCarthy said she told him, “’Just know every time you write stuff, every young girl in this country reads that and they just get a little bit chipped away [at].’” She then added to DeGeneres, “I just think we tear down women in this country for all these superficial reasons and women are so great and strong.” Yet despite the frustrating double standard at play, McCarthy noted that the reporter was a good person — he was just a product of his environment. “I think it’s a bad habit that we’ve gotten into and it’s not that people are malicious; it’s so easy to take a swipe, and I’m like, ‘Just go the other way. Build it up.’” Turning an uncomfortable confrontation into a teachable moment isn’t something most people would choose to do, but if that means there’s one fewer journalist judging an actress by how she looks instead of her ability to act, that’s a step in the right direction.