Warner Bros. dropped the first trailer for its upcoming meta romantic-comedy “Isn’t It Romantic?” earlier this week. The movie stars “Pitch Perfect” breakout Rebel Wilson as a woman who hits her head and wakes up to find her life resembles a clichéd movie rom-com. Wilson appeared on “Ellen” to promote the trailer release, but she indirectly started an online controversy by claiming her movie is a Hollywood groundbreaker.
“I’m proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy,” Wilson told Ellen DeGeneres.
Wilson was quickly met with backlash online for her comment, with many on social media reminding the Australian comedian of romantic-comedies starring Queen Latifah. Latifah starred opposite Common in the 2010 sports-driven rom-com “Just Wright,” and she played a woman who travels to Europe after being given a terminal medical diagnosis in the rom-rom “Last Holiday.” Wilson attempted to defend herself, but she only made matters worse.
“Yeah, I of course know of these movies,” Wilson replied on Twitter to a fan. “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.”
Wilson’s defense was met with reminders that Latifah is definitely a “plus-sized actress” in Hollywood’s eyes and that Latifah has starred in rom-coms where she is both the co-lead (“Just Wright” with Common) and the sole lead (“Last Holiday” was billed using Latifah’s star power alone and not using supporting actors like LL Cool J or Timothy Hutton). The Blacklist founder Franklin Leonard and filmmaker Matthew Cherry were just two of the prominent industry people criticizing Wilson online.
“Isn’t It Romantic?,” directed Todd Strauss-Schulson and co-starring Liam Hemsworth and Adam Divine, opens in theaters February 14, 2019.
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 catorgorized/billed as a studio rom-com with a sole lead. So there’s a slight grey area
— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 1, 2018
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 Worldwide (@moworldwide) November 3, 2018
Not much grey area. pic.twitter.com/GtAz5a8t8D
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) November 2, 2018
But Franklin, of course she knows these movies.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) November 2, 2018
huh? Queen….has been plus size….her entire….career. Monique…has been plus size…her. entire. career.
— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) November 2, 2018
Lord. What a horrible answer from Rebel Wilson.
— Shireen Footybedsheets Ahmed (@_shireenahmed_) November 2, 2018