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Sydney Sweeney's rep responds to producer's 'shameful' criticism of her: 'How sad'

Longtime Hollywood producer Carol Baum said "Anyone But You" was "unwatchable" and ripped into Sweeney’s appearance and acting.

Veteran Hollywood producer Carol Baum said Sydney Sweeney is “not pretty” and “can’t act” in a recent harsh critique of the young Hollywood star, which the “Anyone But You” actor's team has called “sad” and “shameful” in response.

Baum, an Oscar-winning producer of films including "Father of the Bride" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," didn't hold back when speaking about Sweeney during a recent chat with New York Times film critic Janet Maslin in Pleasantville, New York.

“There’s an actress who everybody loves now: Sydney Sweeney. I don’t get Sydney Sweeney," Baum said, according to the Daily Mail. "I was watching on the plane Sydney Sweeney’s movie ('Anyone But You') because I wanted to watch it. I wanted to know who she is and why everybody’s talking about her. I watched this unwatchable movie — sorry to people who love this — romantic comedy where they hate each other."

Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell star in "Anyone But You."
Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell star in "Anyone But You."YouTube/Sony Pictures

Baum then referenced the class she teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California. 

“I said to my class, ‘Explain this girl to me. She’s not pretty, she can’t act. Why is she so hot?’ Nobody had an answer,” she said.

Maslin, a longtime New York Times critic, confirmed Baum's comments, which she said occurred after screening the 1988 film "Dead Ringers," which Baum produced. She also chimed in with her unfavorable opinion of “Anyone But You” in an April 16 post on X.

Carol Baum
Longtime Hollywood producer Carol Baum said Sydney Sweeney is "not pretty" and "can't act" in comments to film critic Janet Maslin. George Pimentel / WireImage

“It IS unwatchable,” Maslin wrote. “Carol Baum said this after we screened ‘Dead Ringers’ at the Jacob Burns Film Center and she mentioned having seen ‘Anyone But You’ on a plane.”

Sweeney, 26, co-starred with Glen Powell in "Anyone But You," a romantic comedy that became a box-office hit early this year with a gross of more than $200 million worldwide.

A representative for Sweeney gave a statement to TODAY in response to Baum's comments.

"How sad that a woman in the position to share her expertise and experience chooses instead to attack another woman. If that’s what she’s learned in her decades in the industry and feels is appropriate to teach to her students, that’s shameful. To unjustly disparage a fellow female producer speaks volumes about Ms. Baum’s character.” reached out to Baum but has not heard back.

Teddy Schwarzman, a producer who worked with Sweeney on the horror movie "Immaculate" that was released in March, also came to her defense.

"As a producer of #Immaculate, I’ll enlighten Ms. Baum that two-time Emmy nominee Sydney Sweeney is not only one of the most talented actresses I’ve worked with, but also incredibly smart, kind and humble," he wrote on X in an April 17 post. "I’m not sure why someone who claims to still be a producer would make such terribly ugly comments, but I can assure everyone that Sydney is at least beautiful on the inside. And, of course, a badass Scream Queen."

Sweeney has often found herself at the center of the conversation during her rise to fame on TV shows like "Euphoria" and "White Lotus."

She has talked about the stigma against actors who do nude scenes on screen and opened up about enduring financial struggles, despite career success.

The "Reality" star also spoke on TODAY in March about how she's "trying to figure out how to deal" with people objectifying her as a young actor.

Sweeney reflected to Variety that same month about her reaction to people writing and talking about her body.

“People feel connected and free to be able to speak about me in whatever way they want, because they believe that I’ve signed my life away,” she said. “That I’m not on a human level anymore, because I’m an actor.”