Rebel Wilson is starring in an upcoming romantic comedy, Isn’t It Romantic, that spoofs the genre by having Wilson’s character hit her head and wake up only to find herself trapped in a rom-com of her own. While debuting the trailer for the film (which also stars her fellow Aussie Liam Hemsworth and Adam DeVine as dueling love interests) on Ellen this week, Wilson opened up about how being a plus-sized woman starring in a romantic comedy abandons stereotypical Hollywood tropes. She one point added, “And also, I’m kinda proud to be the first plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy.”
Except … she isn’t. Not exactly, anyway. Queen Latifah, for example, has starred in multiple romantic comedies over the past decade or so, including Just Wright (2010) and The Last Holiday (2006). While Queen Latifah’s body type was not a plot device in any of those films, Wilson’s statement was problematic in that it seemingly cancels out women of color in films.
Wilson certainly has the right to be proud of her film — and she should be! — but also in a way that is cognizant of the contributions of women before her, particularly women of color. Shortly after the Ellen interview aired, Twitter took it viral as many pointed out that fact.
Wilson later attempted to clarify her remarks, but she somehow only made things worse.
At the very least, hopefully this was a teaching moment for her as she continues to promote her movie.