One of the many reasons political correctness is unethical is its attempt to not only exercise speech and thought control, but thought distortion and fantasy. In “Entertainment” magazine, Karen Valby scolds journalists and fans who keep mentioning the weight of actress Melissa McCarthy….you know, the morbidly obese comic who has made her career playing funny obese characters. According to Valby, this is sexism. After all, she says, heavy actors aren’t constantly hectored about their girth. Then she cites a group of actors who are usually heavy but do not play “fat” characters, and mixes in a few who do (John Goodman, Kevin James), hoping we won’t notice. John Goodman’s weight never discussed? Tell us another. Kevin James? James’ body fat percentage was a punchline approximately ten times a week on “The King of Queens.” Moreover, of the men, only Goodman is obese. Like McCarthy. Oops, I said it.
McCarthy is one of those comic actors, like Kathy Kinney, Jackie Gleason, Fatty Arbuckle, Lou Costello, Curly Howard, and Wayne (“Newman”) Knight, whose rotundity is inseparable from their character’s comedy. In “Mike and Molly,” a sitcom about a blue collar, obese married couple, the fat is the gimmick. McCarthy is funny and talented, but playing the funny fat woman is her niche. Valby (or McCarthy) can argue that she would still rake in starring turns if she was 130 pounds, but who is she kidding? A thin McCarthy would be thrown into a large, competitive pool of comic actresses, and there would be no guarantee that she could prevail. McCarthy is no fool: Valby says she is comfortable with her body, and maybe she is, but she is especially comfy with the income her unique body type generates.
Never mind, though. Since focusing on any woman’s weight is per se sexist, decrees Valby, Melissa McCarthy’s size should never be mentioned again, which only makes sense on Political Correctness World. In the real world, it makes about as much sense as never referencing Yul Brenner’s pate, Betty Davis’s eyes, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscles, or Clark Gable’s mustache. “I don’t want to waste any more ink on a subject so irrelevant to McCarthy’s success,” Valby sniffs.
How sensitive. How idiotic. We must ignore the single aspect of McCarthy’s persona that most distinguishes her and is her most marketable feature, however much she flaunts it, because Valby has added thinking of a fat actress as fat to the list of taboo thoughts.
After all, McCarthy’s weight is irrelevant to her success.