Slimmed-down 'Heat' poster of Melissa McCarthy draws fire

Courtesy NBC News
Randee DawnTODAY contributor

"The Heat" is taking some serious heat, as a UK poster for the upcoming buddy cop comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy appears to have been heavily photoshopped.

Posters for both the US and UK versions feature the actresses against a pink/red background, but while the US version puts them into a kind of photo negative, the UK version is far more digitally altered. In it, McCarthy looks to have had her neck and face slimmed down to a level that does not reflect the actress in reality.

British culture blog The Shiznit created a "roll over" image in which the actress' real face could be swapped for the digital image, then wrote: "Melissa McCarthy is I guess what you'd call a 'larger lady' -- certainly by Hollywood standards, anyway. She's a big girl. And obviously that's fine. She's built a very strong career off the back of being a bit bigger than your average LA rake. It would be nice if her weight was not an issue, but then that's not the world we live in."

Writer Ali at the site suggested the poster shaves a good "30 lbs" off of McCarthy, and adds that "this is one of the worst Photoshop jobs I have ever seen."

Of course, worse than the Photoshop work is what it implies: That McCarthy -- whose appearance and size is well-known to audiences by this point -- somehow has to be altered to appear appealing on movie posters.

But this isn't the first time McCarthy's image has undergone the "photoshop diet," as The Hollywood Reporter noted; for "Bridesmaids" she was given a slimmed-down look as well.

Rosie O'Donnell called into VH1's "The Gossip Table" on Monday to talk about the controversy, noting the same thing happened to her with 1996's "Beautiful Girls."

"It was an ensemble piece so there were many, many actors in it, and you never got to work with everyone," she said. "So when the poster came out, it was sent to my office ... and I looked at the poster and I said, 'Oh, I didn't know Courteney Cox is in this.'"

And what happened when she complained to "Beautiful Girls'" producer Harvey Weinstein? O'Donnell said he replied, "She should thank me. She never looked better."

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