14 February 2013 8:22 AM, PST | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

New York Observer critic Rex Reed made headlines when he panned "Identity Thief," the new comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman. But what earned him so much attention wasn't his poor review (the movie was panned in a lot of places), but in his remarks about McCarthy, calling her a "female hippo" and "tractor-sized."

Now Reed has defended his comments, telling Wor-am New York that the controversy was "what sold tickets," as "Identity Thief's" $36.6 million was the biggest opening so far of 2013.

Reed also says, "I object to using health issues like obesity as comedy talking points. That's what this girl does, this Melissa Manchester." -- he means McCarthy. Melissa Manchester is a singer.

"I have too many friends that have died of obesity-related illnesses, heart problems and diabetes ... I don't find this to be the subject of a lot of humor," Reed continues.

"Don't make me a villain, »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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