Rebel Wilson has walked back comments she made claiming that she was the first plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy, following a significant backlash against her online.
The Australian actress made the remarks during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show last week.
Proclaiming she was ‘first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy’, Twitter users soon rounded on her for forgetting actresses like Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique, who have starred in movies like The Last Holiday, Just Wright, and Phat Girlz.
She tweeted back: “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 categorized/billed as a studio rom-com with a sole lead. So there’s a slight grey area.”
This didn’t particularly calm the waters, and rather than accepting that she may have been off-beam with her comments, she began blocking her critics instead (some noting that those she blocked appeared to be predominantly black, while the hashtag #RebelWilsonBlockedMe soon began trending).
Mo’Nique herself even waded in, saying: “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.”
But she later appeared to have seen the error of her ways, tweeting a comprehensive apology.
“In a couple of well-intentioned moments, hoping to lift my fellow plus sized women up, I neglected to show the proper respect to those who climbed this mountain before me like Mo’Nique, Queen Latifah, Melissa McCarthy, Ricki Lake and likely many others,” she wrote.
“With the help of some very compassionate and well-thought out responses from others on social media, I now realize what I said was not only wrong but also incredibly hurtful. To be part of a problem I was hoping I was helping makes it that much more embarrassing & hard to acknowledge.
“I blocked people on Twitter because I was hurting from the criticism, but those are the people I actually need to hear from more, not less. Again, I am deeply sorry.”