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By Minyvonne Burke
Rebel Wilson apologized in a series of tweets for claiming to be the first plus-sized actress to lead a romantic comedy and then blocking Twitter users who criticized her for failing to acknowledge stars like Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique.
The Australian actress said Monday night that her comments were meant to uplift other plus-size women but admitted she missed the mark.
“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.
“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.”
In a third tweet, Wilson apologized for blocking those who called her out.
“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,” she said. “Again, I am deeply sorry.”
The drama for Wilson began last week during an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to promote her upcoming movie “Isn’t It Romantic,” which she stars as an architect named Natalie who hits her head and wakes up in the middle of a romantic comedy.
While discussing the film, the 38-year-old actress told host Ellen DeGeneres that she was “proud to be the first ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.”
The remark immediately drew criticism from social media users, namely women of color, who pointed out that Queen Latifah had a lead role in two romantic comedies, 2006’s “The Last Holiday” and 2010’s “Just Wright”, and actress Mo’Nique had the lead in the 2006 movie “Phat Girlz.”
One Twitter user who called out Wilson was social media star and beauty guru Nabela Noor, who posted a video on Oct. 31 saying women of color have to work a lot harder to “make their mark” in the industry and Wilson’s comment “erases the contributions of extremely prominent women that have made a big, big, big mark for plus-sized women.”
According to Noor, Wilson reacted to her criticism by blocking her on Twitter.
“I shared my honest & respectful thoughts on Rebel Wilson’s erasure of iconic plus sized women before her. Her blocking a fellow plus woman in this industry is a reminder that she doesn’t want to acknowledge her plus peers but rather ignore them entirely,” Noor said in a tweet on Friday, including a screen grab showing that she could no longer view Wilson’s Twitter account.
Many other social media users soon began commenting that they too had been blocked by Wilson after calling her out. But soon after offering the apology, users tweeted that Wilson had started to unblock them.