McGowan wrote the piece for The Hollywood Reporter
in response to an article in Variety.
The original piece -- titled "Renee Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself, Has She Become a Different Actress?"
-- was written by Variety's chief film critic Owen Gleiberman and discussed celebrity plastic surgery.
Zellweger has been the subject of speculation since 2014 when she re-emerged in Hollywood with a new look. At the time she chalked the change up to a healthier and slower paced lifestyle.
Gleiberman wrote that Zellweger, whose "Bridget Jones's Baby" film is out in September, no longer resembles the character who helped make her famous.
"Watching the trailer, I didn't stare at the actress and think: She doesn't look like Renee Zellweger. I thought: She doesn't look like Bridget Jones!" he wrote. "Oddly, that made it matter more."
He added, "Celebrities, like anyone else, have the right to look however they want, but the characters they play become part of us. I suddenly felt like something had been taken away."
McGowan took umbrage with the piece and called it "vile, damaging, stupid and cruel." She wrote, "It also reeks of status quo white-male privilege."
"You are an active endorser of what is tantamount to harassment and abuse of actresses and women. I speak as someone who was abused by Hollywood and by people like you in the media, but I'm a different breed, one they didn't count on."
Variety declined to comment to CNN on McGowan's column.
McGowan's piece comes at a time of much debate in Hollywood regarding the treatment of actresses and wage inequality.
The "Charmed" star won support from her former co-star Alyssa Milano, who tweeted "Boom. @rosemcgowan! And... mike drop."