Rebel Wilson caught some heat on Thursday for declaring herself the first plus-sized woman to be the lead in a romantic comedy. (Her new film Isn’t It Romantic comes out next Valentine’s Day.)
She was wrong: Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique, for example, have taken on such roles in the past.
I still can’t believe that Rebel Wilson doubled down on the lie that she’s the first fat actress to star in a rom-com. Like Mo’Nique didn’t snag a handsome doctor in Phat Girlz! Like Queen Latifah didn’t get Common AND LL Cool J!
— Evette Dionne 🤷🏾♀️ (@freeblackgirl) November 3, 2018
Instead of admitting her gaffe and moving on, though, it appears that Wilson is blocking people who’ve pointed out her mistake on Twitter. In particular, numerous critics of color — many of whom brought up Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique in their comments — reported being blocked by Wilson over the weekend. (Mo’Nique herself encouraged Wilson to “take a moment and know the history,” but as far as we know, she was not blocked.)
Film and television critic ReBecca Theodore-Vachon even gave it a hashtag: #RebelWilsonBlockedMe. (There are plenty of tweets about this that don’t use the hashtag as well.)
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. pic.twitter.com/icUvY9QrCR
— Nabela (@Nabela) November 3, 2018
Wilson did tweet in a reply to playwright Claire Willett Saturday that she will address what happened “while promoting [Isn’t it Romantic] in the proper forums.”
“It was never my intention to erase anyone else’s achievements and I adore you and Queen Latifah so so much x,” she also tweeted in response to Mo’Nique’s criticism. “I support all plus size ladies and everything positive we are doing together.”
So maybe an apology is forthcoming, but this is still a disturbing sequence of events for a few reasons. First, it is clear from a quick Google search that Wilson’s original statement wasn’t true — did she do any research at all? Next, Wilson’s choice to block people of color for criticizing her also makes her seem not only unwilling to listen, but unwilling to listen to voices different from her own.
“We gotta lift each other up,” Willett wrote on Twitter, “and that means fairly crediting the women who got there first.”