Kit Steinkellner
May 20, 2015 10:00 am

Rebel Wilson could not have had a bigger weekend. The sequel to Pitch Perfect dominated at the box office, handily beating the action blockbusters, and making more money during its opening weekend than the original PP made over its entire theatrical run. If that weren’t enough, the opening weekend numbers made Pitch Perfect 2 the highest-grossing opening weekend for a movie-musical ever. All that, PLUS Wilson is set to star in the third Pitch Perfect film.

Unfortunately, in typical media response fashion to female celebrity, the press waited until this lady celeb reached a career peak to unleash the weird rumors they were sitting on while said celeb was chugging up to the top of the first hill on the Fame Roller Coaster.

Such was the case with Rebel Wilson and the Australian press. This past weekend, the Aussie publication Woman’s Day made several claims against Wilson — her “real” name is Melanie Bownds, she has exaggerated her scrappy upbringing in interviews and, though her age is listed as 29, she is in fact 35 years old.

The first two claims haven’t really raised much ire (throw a rock on the red carpet and you’ll find an A-lister who changed her name), but the age accusation has picked up serious steam and become a trending topic.

Rebel Wilson has neither confirmed nor denied these accusations, but she HAS responded, and it was basically the awesomest response possible:

We love Wilson for turning this whole thing into a joke (which it absolutely is) and calling the press out on the carpet with some expertly used Australian slang. Down Under, “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is a perjorative term used to describe people who attack highly-successful people in the name of jealousy. To put it in Taylor Swift: “Haters gonna hate.”

Here’s the thing: The media isn’t trying to protect the innocent public from the horrors of not knowing an actress’ exact age. Rather, this magazine believed they had dirt on Wilson, and waited until the moment they believed this story would most hurt her to release the hounds. It’s a classic negative publicity move. The “exposé” wasn’t really intended to educate and inform us, it was intended to try to bring a rapidly ascending star down as far as the press could drag her, and that’s a terrible reason to put information out into the world.

It doesn’t matter what Wilson’s age is — though People Magazine just reported that Wilson’s age has been confirmed as 35 to which we say: whatever. Wilson is a comedic force of nature, and one of the most original people to burst onto the Hollywood scene in a very long time. She’s magic on-screen and a badass IRL. Forgive me for not really caring how many candles are on her birthday cake.

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