Melissa McCarthy on her trolls: ‘I root for that person to find joy’


Melissa McCarthy’s new film, Life of the Party, comes out tomorrow. This week was one of those weeks I wished was over before it began so I kind of need a ‘turn off the brain and laugh at stupid stuff’ film. The fact that they held the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes is not a good sign, though. (UPDATE – oh dear, it’s really not good.) However, it’s enough to garner Melissa the cover to this week’s People. I love her outfit but I don’t love what they’ve done to her face. I think Melissa is really pretty and I like that her face is so expressive – they’ve rubbed out all her personality.

Part of her interview addresses internet trolls. You may remember that Melissa and her co-stars took a cyber-beating over the reboot of Ghostbusters made with *gasp* funny, confident women. Regardless of your feeling about the film itself, the vitriol leveled at the four leads was absurd. So how does Melissa handle those who throw hate on her? By throwing some love back on them. It sounds hokey – and it kind of is – but hear her out:

Melissa McCarthy has dealt with her share of online trolls, but she has nothing but love for them back.

McCarthy was on the bitter end of some especially vicious hate when she starred in the 2016 all-female Ghostbusters reboot alongside Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. But she doesn’t let the trolls get to her.

“Weirdly, instead of getting mad at them, I always feel like, ‘Oh, I hope you meet someone soon that you can talk to, someone that really makes you laugh,’ ” she says in the new issue. “I just root for that person to find a little joy.”

“I’m never going to change things by sitting in my living room bawling. That’s not going to fix or help anything,” McCarthy says. “This has been a tough chunk of history for women. But at one point I just said, ‘I’m not going to wallow in this anymore.’ It’s not my reality—the men I know wouldn’t act like this. So I look to the men I know, who have made my life better, and I just keep remembering that they’re the norm.”

“It’s the same thing I tell my girls, ‘If somebody is being mean, they’re probably really not happy,” she says. “If you’re having a great day, you don’t walk past someone and yell, ‘Freak!’ If you’re happy, you say, ‘I love your skirt!’ ”

[From People]

Either Melissa honestly believes this or she is so good at her public persona that she just convinced me she believes this. I think it’s a great way to look at trolls, I’m just not there yet. I’ve gotten better, but it still hurts. And I agree about her last point – that people who are in a good place don’t throw hate on others. Although, when I impart this wisdom on my kids, I’ll clarify that there is a difference between ‘hate’ and ‘criticism.’ Valid critique should still be considered.

As for the part about wallowing on her couch – I had to read that a couple of times. I got tripped up on the sentence, “the men I know wouldn’t act like this.” I adore Melissa, as you all know, but I wish she had phrased that differently. I get what she’s saying but if #MeToo has proven anything it’s that we may not know everything about the people around us, especially how they may have acted in the past. I’d be surprised if Hollywood has only ever been kind to Melissa so I interpret her message to be promoting wide-awake positivity: we love the good things in the world, but we acknowledge that bad things exist. Melissa is awesome but I hope she stays out of the Pollyanna territory. It’ll give her message more credence.




Photo credit: People and WENN Photos

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37 Responses to “Melissa McCarthy on her trolls: ‘I root for that person to find joy’”

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  1. slowsnow says:

    I think we need to stop monitoring every little thing a celeb says through the Metoo filter. Things are said in contexts. What she is saying here made me think of two things:
    – because she is on the plump side, she must have developped a thicker skin, unfortunatelly
    – we were convinced by our parents (mostly the white middle-class people like myself) that we had conquered our place in society as women, finally. Yay.
    When we should have been told to watch out for ourselves and for others less priviledged because it has only been half a century (when I was born it had been a few years that women had been finally “allowed” to travel aboard without having to ask their husbands for permission)
    My point is: we live in a freer society than any time in history, arguably, but inequality is still here. The fight is not over.

    • LT says:

      Agree with you about reading comments within the context. Her comments were positive and thoughtful without being bland. No need to nitpick every word.

    • Betsy says:

      That’s very well put and I was going to try to say something about that, but lately have been so short tempered with all the mess in the world and how helpless I feel to change anything (yes, I’ll vote. I am paralyzed beyond that right now because nothing feels adequate) that I’m doing the equivalent of screeching angrily and without thought. I don’t think my messages are getting conveyed.

  2. Betsy says:

    I love Melissa and I couldn’t have that kind of positivity, so I’m glad she does. She’s not wrong and I don’t think she’s Pollyanna-ing. I can say it in the inverse, less positive way: trolls, and especially the stupid vitriolic trolls who spent weeks harassing the Ghostbusters actors, are small, unhappy people with not enough going on. She just stated it more kindly.

    • smcollins says:

      Well said, and I completely agree. It boils down to saying those people need to get a life, but in a much more eloquent and kinder way.

    • Esmom says:

      I agree that trolls are small, unhappy people but many seem to have plenty going on (exhibit A: the Trump family). They just find time to troll. Priorities, I guess.

      • Alix says:

        Yeah, I find the whole “I hope they find happiness” thing a bit disingenuous, not to mention somewhat pretentious. Besides, trolls clearly find joy in putting others down, so there’s that.

    • KLO says:

      Yes ok. Melissa put it nicely.

      The only thing that irks me about this theme is that I remember vividly a day when a woman at work, from a group who bullied me, told me to “find something that makes you happy and get a life” after I dared to confront them about harrassing and bullying me for a year and I had finally had enough.

      So yeah, this article hit a spot for me i quite didn`t like. Just a personal story I thought I`d share.

      • Betsy says:

        I’m sorry that happened to you. But you weren’t the troll or in the wrong there. I hate that adults still exist to bully people. It makes sense to an extent in children as a developmental phase, but in adults it’s just embarrassing. I’m sorry.

      • KLO says:

        thank you Betsy, I really DO appreciate it very much.

      • Christin says:

        Sounds like she was projecting her/their issues to you.

        Sorry you had to put up with that behavior for so long. Glad you called her/them out.

      • KLO says:

        @Christin 🙂

      • Other Renee says:

        Klo, my heart hurt when I read what you wrote about being bullied. I’m over 50 and I’m still naive enough to ask myself why there are so many mean people in the world who take pleasure in ganging up on one individual. I’m very sorry this happened to you.

  3. Goats on the Roof says:

    The Ghostbusters remake was unfunny and poorly executed. Some people may have taken the criticism too far because the cast was primarily female, but the movie didn’t take a beating solely because they were “confident women.” If it had been funny, many people would have given it its due.

    • lightpurple says:

      Those women had vitriol hurled at them about that film long before it was even released. True, a decent film, good reviews and a solid box office could have countered that but , at that point, the attacks turned to “I told you so!”

      • smcollins says:

        Lol @lightpurple You were posting as I was typing. Great minds and all… 😉

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        One, people were on re-make/re-boot fatigue. A ton of movies from the 80s were being remade left and right and people weren’t happy about it. Second, the all-female cast thing is a stunt and many people on all sides were pissed about it. I was never a Ghostbusters fan so I wasn’t concerned with “messing with a classic” as some people whined, but I had a real problem with taking a male franchise and inserting female characters to win brownie points, and I saw this point being made across the internet.

        So yeah…people were pissed but it wasn’t just because they were women.

      • Betsy says:

        @GOAT – what you describe is pretty much exactly because they were women.

    • smcollins says:

      True (although I must admit I actually really like the film), but the internet trolls were attacking before the movie was ever released. All that hate & vitriol was being slung from the moment it was announced the movie was getting made. The fact that it wasn’t very strongly received only gave them more ammunition for their hate.

      • lucy2 says:

        This – it was attacked from the start, which is wholly unfair.
        I just looked it up, and it actually did better than I thought, it made $230 mil world wide, $130 of that in the US – not enough to offset the high budget, but that’s still a decent amount of tickets sold.

        I saw it and really enjoyed it. Everyone in the theater seemed to enjoy it as well.

    • Lala says:

      It is BREATHTAKINGLY BAD!!!! With all of that comedic talent involved…NO one said at the initial table reading…”Ahh…we need to go ALL the way back to the drawing board with this mess!”

    • KLO says:

      I actually found the movie funny and cute. I went to see it all by myself and was throroughly entertained.

      Just because you did not like it and seemingly many others did not, does not make it a worthless movie because there are a lot of people out there who enjoyed it very much.

    • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

      Really? I hate the majority of comedy films that come out nowadays (I just can’t get into the humor), I see no difference between the Melissa M films that have great reviews vs. the film she did with her husband (The Boss, Tammy, etc), and I have never seen the original Ghostbusters films….but I saw the reboot and I really liked it.

  4. Aud says:

    I took her comment about men to mean that we shouldn’t lump all men into the asshole category. The men she knows aren’t assholes and she’s going to consider them the norm. She was talking about the “tough slice of history” for women at the time.

    Edited to add that I now get your point too — we don’t necessarily “know” anyone.

  5. Chef Grace says:

    I like her style. I agree with @slowsnow about monitoring what is said through a metoo filter.
    Great point. You miss what is being said.
    We are a long way from equality. But we will get there.
    As for trolls, I flip flop from placing a blessing on them to telling them to f#ck off. 😉
    I need to work on myself LOL

  6. MI6 says:

    “There is a difference between ‘hate’ and ‘criticism.’ Valid critique should still be considered.”
    Thank you. We lose sight of this simple truth when erring too far on the side political correctness.
    I love Melissa and her message, and pray for the mean and vindictive folks to be healed so they won’t continue to hurt others.
    Except 🐍. Not there yet!

  7. Naddie says:

    I love her, and I’m no one to say how someone should face life’s problems, but I am not as positive as she is. Men are nice until you do something they don’t approve, and I’m not talking about morality. Comments on Facebook are a great measure to prove my point. I once heard “a bitch is a woman who doesn’t please men, a ho is a woman who pleases them too much ” . I have men who are kind to me, but I wonder if they are to all women or just the “respectful ones”.

  8. teehee says:

    Ive wonderd about trolling (in any context) lately myself. I think its more likely that the behavior a public forum elicits in people is just completely disociated with the person themselves in some levels. Similar to what Melissa said, you dont walk past someone and scream”FREAK” at them, but on the internet, we DO walk past someone and post “FREAK” at them.
    Why is that??
    Either its the “dehumanized” aspect of internet “interactions” or its just something about such mass exposure that comes unnatural to us (we don’t walk into a room full of strangers and yell our opinions in real life, so why should we do it online!?) or its just a way for people to let out their angers about society aimed at unknown people who remind them of something they dislike (a political party for ex). Or its all of these.
    So the people are likely happy in general- they are you and I-, but just irritated and frazzled, and just not taught to see internet as humans on the other screens and keyboards.

    And lets face it even in real life, the vast minority of people are able to say things objectively, fact based, and neutrally. Like only 1% of people can do that. And to do that, you have to even care enough to do so in the first place. And why should you care about a stranger you dont even see…

    • KLO says:


      I think the lack of accountability is the culprit here.

      • lucy2 says:

        Completely. And unhappy people use it as an outlet because they do have accountability in real life.

      • teehee says:

        Huh, yeah. Good point. Sowe’d all be murderers if there was no accountability… 😛 (at the end of the day, we are all just murderous cucumbers. Also 97% water)

  9. minx says:

    I just love her. She’s adorable and talented.

  10. Electric Tuba says:

    To me, she is perfection. She’s doing roles that were previously only reserved for Chris Farley types and it’s cool to see a woman get to do all the fun slap stick and physical comedy that the boys have enjoyed for eons.
    I get it that it’s not everyone’s jam but the world is filled with all kinds of jam so spread it on some toast and enjoy haha

  11. tealily says:

    “So I look to the men I know, who have made my life better, and I just keep remembering that they’re the norm.” Does she mean the societal norm? That women should interpret men’s vitriol the way that men do, but that’s the intention with which it is given?

    I’m not sure I agree with this statement, especially when the vitriol is based in misogyny. Of course men respond differently to that. However, I do get the idea of letting criticism, especially unfair criticism, roll off you. It’s probably healthier. I just have a lot of rage for hatred, and I think it’s important to maintain that. I guess you can’t take it personally, though.

  12. Pandy says:

    I think she blows off the trolls in interviews because she doesn’t want to give them any fuel. She looks great in her jeans picture!