She's made a career as a comedic actress, but Melissa McCarthy was at the center of an intense controversy earlier this month when Elle magazine put her on the cover of their November Women in Hollywood issue covered up with a heavy dark trench coat.
Critics claimed that the 43-year-old's fuller figure was no reason for the publication to essentially hide her body under lots of fabric and a big hair 'do.
But at the Elle Magazine Women in Hollywood party on Monday, Oct. 21, all talk of the controversy was light and comical. Presenter Andy Samberg spent much of his speech addressing the cover, but his take was very different from the sites that found it offensive.
“Speaking of controversy, a lot of controversy for the Elle Women in Hollywood issue this year. I’m referring, of course, to Jacket-gate," Samberg, 35, said. "Talk about a kerfuffle! Have you no shame, Elle magazine and your parent company Hearst Communications? How dare you make a beautiful woman wear a trench coat? An item of clothing never associated with sex and desire, and splattered across your cover like the scat of a monkey armada."
Samberg went on to reveal some, err, personal details about his feels toward the married mother's cover.
"For as hot as all the previous covers were, Melissa’s is the hottest one," he said. "Not to overshare but I have definitely snuck it into the bathroom a number of times. Ask my wife, that thing is thoroughly dog-eared.” Samberg's wife of one month, folk singer Joanna Newsom, was in the audience and reportedly cracking up with the crowd.
The speech brought in a lot of laughs, including many from the cover girl herself, who has been quoted supporting the publication's fashion-forward shoot. McCarthy's long-time idol, Kathy Bates, introduced her to the stage, commending both her comedic efforts and work in dramatic roles.
Though there were plenty of jokes leading up to her speech, McCarthy kept things sincere, shedding some tears over seeing Bates travel all the way to Beverly Hills for her. She acknowledged many of the stereotypes found in Hollywood before addressing the other noteworthy women at the event.
“I think this room knows that women are complicated and messy and we are certainly not perfect but we are funny and challenging and kind and I wouldn’t change a thing about anybody in this room,” she said.