Add Rebel Wilson to the list of public figures learning the hard way that if you make a claim, the internet will fact check you with the quickness.
Wilson's new project, the studio rom-com Isn't It Romantic, was just announced, and it really is an exciting moment in a time when Hollywood finally, at long last, seems to be inching closer to inclusivity. Or at least trying to. A little. Bit by bit. Instead of being relegated to the role of funny sidekick, as used to be standard procedure for... well, really, all studio films, let alone romantic comedies, Wilson is the main character of Isn't It Romantic. Progress!
Naturally, Wilson is excited about this milestone, and said as much on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week. But it seems she took her celebration just a bit too far when she told Ellen, "I'm proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy."
The internet was quick to correct her, pointing out that actresses Queen Latifah and Mo'Nique both starred as lead actresses in rom-coms long before Wilson did.
From there, Wilson was quick to point out the nuance in her situation: hers is a studio romcom, a type of film that has nearly always been the province of thin, white ingenues.
But that explanation (understandably, given its subtext) didn't sit well with many, especially women of color. And the clapback commenced over the weekend--starting with Mo'Nique herself:
Wilson was quick to acknowledge Mo'Nique's point, but several other women of color who pushed back were apparently immediately blocked by Wilson.
Finally yesterday, Wilson seemed to recognize her mistake, and took to Twitter again to attempt to make amends, acknowledging that she'd unintentionally erased the accomplishments of plus-size women before her.
She also acknowledged and apologized for blocking the poeple who'd attempted to push back on her claims, and then unblocked several of them:
The internet being the internet, not everyone was entirely convinced of the sincerity of the apology:
But in a departure from the usual internet pile-one, some others took Wilson for her word, and kept their pushback focused on the issues:
At least some progress was made from this particular "call-out culture" moment, it seems. But it just goes to show that if you're gonna make a claim like Wilson did... geez, just Google it first!