Rebel Wilson is facing backlash for claiming to be the “first-ever plus sized” lead of a romantic comedy, and her response only garnered more criticism.
The actress, 38, is the star of the upcoming movie Isn’t It Romantic, about a New Yorker who hits her head and wakes up stuck in a world full of romantic comedy tropes. After the first trailer premiered on Halloween, Wilson went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about the film.
“I’m proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy,” she told host Ellen DeGeneres.
Wilson’s comment quickly went viral, with people pointing out on Twitter that she’s far from the first curvier lead, with movies like Beauty Shop, Just Wright and Last Holliday with Queen Latifah, and Phat Girlz with Mo’Nique.
“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,” wrote Twitter user @Halfapintdoll.
Wilson then responded and tried to defend her comment.
“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 categorized/billed as a studio rom-com with a sole lead. So there’s a slight grey area.”
The responses were just as swift to that tweet, with people accusing Wilson of erasing the accomplishments of Black women.
One such person was Mo’Nique herself, who asked Wilson to work on being an ally.
“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 tweeted.
Wilson replied, saying that she didn’t mean to leave her and Queen Latifah out of the conversation.
“Hi Monique, it was never my intention to erase anyone else’s achievements and I adore you and Queen Latifah so so much x I support all plus size ladies and everything positive we are doing together,” Wilson tweeted.
She followed it up with more tweets on Monday in which she apologized.
“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,” Wilson tweeted.
She added, “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,” she continued.