UPDATED: Rebel Wilson stirred up controversy last week when she claimed she was the first plus-sized actress to star in a romantic comedy film, and now she’s apparently blocked so many critics over the questionable comment to spawn a #RebelWilsonBlockedMe hashtag.
The “Bridesmaids” star appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Oct. 31 to discuss her new film, “Isn’t It Romantic.” She claimed that she was the “first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.” In a tweet that has since received 16,000 likes, a Twitter user corrected her, referencing both Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique. Queen Latifah starred in 2006’s “The Last Holiday” and 2010’s “Just Wright,” while the Mo’Nique vehicle, “Phat Girlz,“ came out in 2006.
Wilson then earned further criticism when she defended the comment on Twitter. “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 [sic] as a studio rom-com with a sole lead,” she wrote.
Many on Twitter accused Wilson of ignoring the achievements of black women and blocking them when they pointed it out. “Black women’s bodies don’t matter when it comes to White women like Rebel Wilson,” one woman said. “They will always value their representation more while erasing ours.”
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Another said that it isn’t just Wilson — mainstream Hollywood tends to reduce films with black leads to merely “black movies,” as opposed to recognizing their contributions to entertainment as a whole.
Mo’Nique even took to the platform to address Wilson’s remarks. “Let’s please not allow this business to erase our talent with giving grey areas and technicalities,” the Oscar winner said. “Take a moment and know the history. DON’T BE A PART OF ERASING IT.”
Wilson replied that it wasn’t her intention to “erase anyone’s achievements,” but other people pointed out that she had been blocking women of color for trying to facilitate a dialogue. There were even people creating hashtags like #RebelWilsonBlockedMe and #RebelBlockMeParty to commemorate being blocked by the actress.
On Monday, Wilson addressed the controversy over her initial comments again and the backlash over her blocking critics in a string of tweets. “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,” she went on. “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.”
“Isn’t It Romantic” also stars Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine, and Priyanka Chopra. It’s slated to be released Feb. 14 by Warner Bros. Pictures.