Rex Reed is coming out swinging against the backlash he faced after making unnecessary, pointless remarks about Melissa McCarthy's weight in his scathing review of 'Identity Thief.'

And he's missing the point. Surprise!

Speaking about the hate he received after calling McCarthy a "hippo" among other things, Reed told FilmDrunk, “This is an organized group of people, believe me. And it’s all being fanned because of Universal’s desire to sell tickets to a bad movie."

For the record, when we called him out on his douchebaggery, Universal had nothing to do with it.

He added that he's lost pals to obesity-related complications, so it's a sensitive subject for him, then quipped, “I object to using health issues like obesity as comedy talking points. That’s what this girl does! This Melissa Manchester…”

Dude, seriously? Maybe he talked all that smack about McCarthy because he's a little too lazy to look up her name or do any research on the very star he's criticizing so harshly.

Not that McCarthy cares. She's too busy counting her cash -- and possibly writing Reed a thank you note for it.

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