A file photo taken in London on February 9, 2016, shows Australian actress Rebel Wilson posing on the red carpet during arrivals for the European premiere of How To Be Single. (AFP/Leon Neal)
Australian Hollywood star Rebel Wilson has apologized for claiming she is the first plus-sized woman to be a lead actress in a romantic comedy, saying her comments were "not only wrong but also incredibly hurtful".
The "Pitch Perfect" star -- who made international headlines recently for her successful defamation case in Australia against several magazines -- said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that she was "proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy".
Wilson was promoting her upcoming role in the movie "Isn't It Romantic".
There was a backlash on social media to her remarks, with users pointing out that other plus-sized actresses including Queen Latifah, Ricki Lake, and Mo'Nique had starred in such films.
Wilson was also criticized for blocking some Twitter users who complained.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Wilson wrote that she was "deeply sorry".
In a couple of well-intentioned moments, hoping to lift my fellow plus sized women up, I neglected to show the proper respect to those who climbed this mountain before me like Mo’Nique, Queen Latifah, Melissa McCarthy, Ricki Lake and likely many others.— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 5, 2018
"I neglected to show the proper respect to those who climbed this mountain before me," she said.
"With the help of some very compassionate and well-thought out responses from others on social media, I now realize what I said was not only wrong but also incredibly hurtful.
"To be part of a problem I was hoping I was helping makes it that much more embarrassing & hard to acknowledge. I blocked people on Twitter because I was hurting from the criticism, but those are the people I actually need to hear from more, not less."
Wilson was awarded Aus$4.5 million ($3.3 million) in damages against Bauer Media last year over articles claiming she lied about her age and background to further her career -- the largest defamation win in Australian legal history.
But Bauer appealed, arguing the size of the settlement set a dangerous precedent and there were errors of law in the judgement.
Wilson was earlier this year ordered to return most of the payout after it was slashed by a court. She has lodged an application to appeal the decision.