Rebel Wilson Appears Not To Have Gotten The Hollywood Memo On ‘Thou Shalt Kiss Arse’


In an industry where there’s definitely not a place for everyone, but where everyone absolutely must know their place, iconic Australian actress Rebel Wilson appears not to have ‘gotten the memo’.

How else to explain the brouhaha that exploded on Wilson’s Instagram page overnight, and will almost certainly reverberate its way across the Pacific to North America by the morning. And then God knows where else.


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By way of background, the Australian actress – famous locally for her work with Fat Pizza, and then globally for multiple roles in Hollywood blockbusters including the Pitch Perfect franchise – has recently finished her directorial debut on a film called ‘The Deb’.

Here’s the official guff: “The Deb follows lovable farm girl and high school outcast Taylah Simpkins, who is certain the upcoming Debutante Ball, ‘the Deb,’ is her one chance to redefine herself. When her cynical city cousin Maeve is exiled to Taylah’s drought-stricken town Dunburn, she thinks the ball is a “heteronormative shit-show” and immediately disrupts the status quo. In their search for the spotlight, Taylah and Maeve dig deep to find self-acceptance — and a date to the Deb.”

Shot in Sydney and rural NSW late last year, it’s based on a musical of the same name by Hannah Reilly and Megan Washington, which played for several months at the Rebel Theatre in Sydney in 2022 (and yes, the name of the theatre is no accident – it’s named after Australian Theatre For Young People alumna Rebel Wilson!).

Shooting has well and truly wrapped up, and the project was in the ‘home stretch’, but it appears to have hit a bit of a snag in the past few days. Turns out we might not get to see the adaptation at all because… well… because Rebel Wilson apparently can’t keep her big fucking moral mouth shut.

Rumours have been swirling for some time that Wilson is one of those unfortunate folk with ‘a firm sense of right and wrong’. She apparently expects those around her, including colleagues, to also ‘act ethically’. Which begs a whole pile of questions, not least of all ‘Who the actual the fuck does this crazy bitch think she is?’ And ‘This is Show Business. Why the fuck does she think she can behave that way?’

Over to Wilson, for some answers….

“[The Deb] got selected for closing night of the Toronto [International] Film Festival, which is like the hugest, best platform. And to be a first-time female director, it’s just like, I mean, it’s huge. It’s massive,” says Wilson.

“So to have the joy of the movie being selected is one thing. But then to have the business partners that are involved in that movie turn around and say ‘No, the movie can’t premiere, is just beyond devastating.”

And why would the producers of a film not want it to premiere at such a prestigious event?

“This dates back to October of last year, where I discovered bad behaviour by these business partners…. Not minor things. Big things. Inappropriate behaviour towards the lead actor of the film. Embezzling funds from the film’s budget, which we really needed because we’re a small movie. So, you know, kind of really important things.”

Indeed. For legal reasons, New Matilda can’t name the people accused of the wrongdoing… obviously, I’m joking. Over to Wilson again….

“I just tell it how it is so I’m just going to tell you who they are…. Their names are Amanda Ghost, Gregor Cameron and an Executive Producer, Vince Holden.”

And there you have it folks… Rebel Wilson breaking the literal Golden Rule of Hollywood, which is ‘Thou shalt kiss arse, regardless of what that arse has been up to.’ She’s also broken Golden Rule number two, which is ‘If thou art powerful enough to not have to kiss arse, then thou shalt look the other way rather than call out shit-arse behaviour. Particularly if thou art a woman.’

Wilson adds that since she called out the producers, she’s been met with “absolute viciousness and retaliatory behaviour”.

This is not the first time that Wilson – a former UNSW student with a double degree in law and arts – appears to suffered a ‘lapse in judgement’ and prioritised ethics over fame and fortune.

A few months back, she used her auto-biography, Rebel Rising, to call out the alleged shitty conduct of co-star Sacha Baron-Cohen on the 2016 film Grimsby, describing him as a “massive arsehole”.

Baron-Cohen sued and tried to block publication of the memoirs – Wilson not only stared him down, but then doubled down with an interview on Youtube podcast Diary of a CEO, where she describes working with Baron-Cohen as the “worst professional experience of my career”.

Around the same time, Wilson also had the temerity to sue an Australian media company – Bauer – for making up stories about her. Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly, two of the nation’s more entrenched celebrity gutter-mags, took what can only be described as ‘the greatest defamation bath in Australian media history’ for inventing facts about Wilson.

The last word belongs to Wilson. She finishes her Insta flogging with this line: “If [The Deb] doesn’t play at Toronto [International Film Festival], it’s because of these absolute fuckwits.”

‘TIFF’, as its known, starts in September. So watch this space, to see what happens to The Deb. And if you want to support Wilson’s work in the meantime, you can follow her on Instagram here… with her 11 million other followers.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.