Rebel Wilson Apologizes for Claiming to Be 'First-Ever Plus-Size' Rom-Com Star

Nov 6, 2018 at 11:58 a.m. ET
Rebel Wilson attends the 2018 G'Day USA Black Tie Gala
Image: John Sciulli/Getty Images For G'Day USA.

What started as a typical talk show appearance for Rebel Wilson has snowballed into quite the controversy for the Australian actor. The trouble? During a visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wilson dubbed herself the first plus-size rom-com star, and the comment did not sit well with the internet.

Now, Wilson is owning up to her mistake, saying she is “deeply sorry” for making the remark — and for not being open at first to entertaining a dialogue about why the remark needed to be addressed.

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Wilson initially received a positive response from the studio audience when she chatted with DeGeneres about the new movie Isn’t It Romantic, which also stars Liam Hemsworth and Adam DeVine. The film, which hits theaters on Valentine's Day 2019, follows a girl who hates rom-coms yet finds herself living in a world of them. 

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“I had a such a ball filming that. I always add my own jokes, and also, I’m kind of proud to be the first ever plus-size girl to be the star of the romantic comedy,” Wilson told DeGeneres of the film. 

Twitter quickly took the actor to task, pointing out that other plus-size stars — among them several women of color — had already starred in rom-coms.

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Wilson’s response to that backlash at first included questioning whether some of those women were plus-size at the time of the films, as well as saying “it was questionable” whether those films were classed as studio rom-coms.

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She also went on to block some of the people criticizing her words — so many, it would seem, the hashtag #RebelWilsonBlockedMe became a thing.

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After both Mo’Nique and Claire Willett tweeted Rebel (respectfully), the actor owned up to her part in steering the conversation in a way that distracted from the greater good.

“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 on Monday.

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Wilson went on to acknowledge the people who’d pointed her error out to her, saying, “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."

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She continued, "To be a part of the problem I was hoping I was helping makes it that much more embarrassing and 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.”

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In a separate post, Wilson reiterated that she is “all about supporting plus size women” and doesn’t want to disrespect anyone. She has since, according to at least one Twitter user, unblocked those who criticized her comments.

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