Slimmer McCarthy poster controversy

Sandra Bullock stars as Special Agent Sarah Ashburn and Melissa McCarthy stars as Det. Shannon Mullins in
Sandra Bullock stars as Special Agent Sarah Ashburn and Melissa McCarthy stars as Det. Shannon Mullins in "The Heat."
  • Promotional posters from McCarthy's 'The Heat' look different
  • The actress' image appears to have been altered to make her thinner
  • Reps for the film have declined to comment

(CNN) -- The studio behind the female buddy flick "The Heat" is probably hoping the movie will be huge. But there is some controversy overseas about something connected to the film that doesn't appear to be as big.

The Daily Mail reports that promotional posters for the film, which stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, appear to have been altered to slim McCarthy's face. The story notes that the U.S. version of the poster also sports McCarthy with a digitally slimmer face.

The poster shows McCarthy in character as a police detective and her face appears less round. McCarthy's neck in the poster also appears slimmer than in real life.

Representatives for the film declined to comment to CNN on speculation that Melissa McCarthy's face and neck appear to have been Photoshopped.

Critic calls Melissa McCarthy 'hippo'

British site The Shiznit put up a representation of what the poster would look like using an unaltered photo of McCarthy.

"This is one of the worst Photoshop jobs I have ever seen, but it's not just offensively bad craftsmanship -- the intention behind it is downright nasty," the site's editor, Ali Gray, wrote.

It's not the first time the plus-sized actress -- who has found fame as a co-star in the hit film "Bridesmaids" and the CBS television show "Mike & Molly" -- has been at the center of controversy regarding her weight.

In 2010, Marie Claire writer Maura Kelly faced a firestorm of criticism when she wrote a piece titled "Should 'Fatties' Get A Room? (Even on TV?)" in which she wrote "I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything." Kelly's piece, which was inspired by a CNN article "Weight is a big deal for TV, movie characters," led to thousands of complaints from Marie Claire website readers. Kelly later apologized.

Last year New York Observer film critic Rex Reed referred to McCarthy as a "female hippo" while panning her film "Identity Thief," which co-starred Jason Bateman. Reed later defended his remarks and said the controversy helped the film sell more tickets on its opening weekend.

"I have too many friends that have died of obesity-related illnesses, heart problems and diabetes. ... I have helped people try to lose weight, and I don't find this to be the subject of a lot of humor," Reed told WOR-AM radio in New York.

In 2011 the actress responded to comments about her weight.

"Do I sometimes hope I wake up in the morning and people are like, 'What's wrong with her? She looks emaciated.' Of course I would love that," McCarthy said. "I'm such a clothes whore I would love the opportunity to be a hanger. But I think I'm more confident than I've ever felt in my life. I always thought it was worth the fight. Now I know it is."

"The Heat" will be released in the United States on June 28. - Entertainment