“Mike & Molly” creator Mark Roberts heard about the now-infamous Marie Claire blog post when he got to work Wednesday (Oct. 27). He initially paid it little mind, “and then I started getting phone calls.”
The calls were about a post on MarieClaire.com titled “Should ‘fatties’ get a room? (Even on TV?)” that leveled some really harsh words at the show’s portrayal of two people (Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy) who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall for one another. Harsh like this: “I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything,” it reads
The post caused an uproar online and was a topic of discussion on the “Today” show, “The View,” “The Talk” and elsewhere. The writer and Marie Claire’s editor have apologized, and Roberts isn’t fuming over it — “I feel like everyone is allowed to make mistakes,” he tells Zap2it. But he adds that hearing such stinging criticism at his two stars “makes me sad.”
“The reaction that sort of hangs with me the most is, I feel really protective of Billy and Melissa,” Roberts says. “I love them. They’re two of the most talented, sweet people I’ve ever met, and the fact that they have to read this and be part of this makes me a little upset. …
“To judge anyone that harshly and make those statements about other human beings … even when they come out and apologize for it, I don’t know how to address it. It makes me sad. But we’re just trying to put on a fun show about two people falling in love, and Melissa and Billy are two of the biggest talents I’ve ever met. And yes, I used the word ‘big,’ and I regretted it the minute it came out of my mouth.”
Roberts isn’t dwelling on the story — “We wish no one any ill will,” he says — and he notes that “Mike & Molly” is already the most-watched new comedy of the season, so a good number of people don’t seem to have an issue watching it.
“At the end of the day, there’s a giant heart attached to the show, and it certainly has to do with the fact that we found these two wonderful actors,” he says. “So if [the controversy] ges a few more eyeballs on our show, then thank you very much, Marie Claire.”
Photo credit: CBS