Melissa McCarthy's Oscars bunny dress criticised by top designer

A leading Hollywood designer has described the wacky outfits worn by Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry to present the Oscar for best costume design as “tasteless and insulting”.

The actors wore spoof period costumes inspired by the film The Favourite.

They included a group of fake rabbits on the train of McCarthy’s dress.

Arianne Phillips, who has been nominated for two Oscars for best costume design herself, said it made a “mockery” of her profession.

“I like to think I have a sense of humour. And I love Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry,” she wrote on Facebook. “But… I honestly thought this was tasteless and insulting to costume design.”

‘Major steps backwards’

Phillips received her Academy Award nominations for designing outfits for Reese Witherspoon, among others, in Walk the Line in 2006; and for WE, directed by Madonna, in 2012.

On Sunday, McCarthy drew laughs by fumbling with a rabbit puppet while introducing the category. The Academy Award went to Black Panther’s Ruth Carter.

“The Oscars are an opportunity to honour our craft(s),” Phillips wrote. “As costume designers we struggle with people in our own industry UNDERSTANDING our job.

“On this one night where the work is supposed to be elevated (look at the international ratings) this is perhaps the most egregious misrepresentation not only of taste (which is subjective) but of value to the filmmaking process.

“We are not just ‘shoppers’, as our job is so often misunderstood. We constantly have to explain our job, this kind of mockery only underscores frustration. Feels like major steps backwards.

“SHAME on The Academy for allowing this to be broadcast.”

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has been contacted for a response.


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