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Some People are Actually Shook That Brendan Fraser Won an Oscar for Wearing a Fat Suit, Including Dove Soap for Some Reason

PATRICK T. FALLON. Getty Images.

In a troubled, divided world, it's rare that you see a cultural touchstone moment that brings us all together. Sunday night's Oscars provided several. The Academy Awards loves to congratulate itself for "historic" moments to the point the word has lost all meaning. But I think we can use it to describe two actors from a 31 year old Pauly Shore vehicle winning awards:

And that is something we can all feel good about. Or should. But this is 2023. Which automatically makes celebrating anything unanimously impossible. No matter how much good feelings there are in a "feel good" story, you can guarantee somebody, somewhere, is going to be pissed off about it:

Source - Dove is facing backlash after slamming Oscar-winning film 'The Whale' for using a 'fat suit' on actor Brendan Fraser. 

The film received some criticism in the lead up to Sunday's Academy Awards as viewers took issue with an actor playing an obese man when they were not obese themselves.

In the latest swipe, Dove took a moral stance in response to a tweet in which one user said, 'our identity is not your costume.'

One Twitter account accused the film of appropriating obese people's identities with the fat suit.

User KB Heylen wrote: 'So disappointing that The Whale won the Oscar for best hair and makeup. Fat suits are harmful - they are not your opportunity to win awards. Our identity is not your costume. Cast fat actors to play fat characters. #TheWhale #fatphobia #fatsuit #Oscars.'

Where do you even begin to address these insane reactions to what was a simple example of feeling good about an actor everyone seems to like winning an award for the first time? It's like an all you can eat buffet of ridiculousness. OK, that's an unfortunate comparison. It's a Whitman's Sampler of stupidity. Nope. Let's call it a salad bar of nonsense so as not to promote unhealthy lifestyles. 

Let's start with asking what a soap company's issue with an actor in a fat suit Dove's reason to exist to sell a product that makes people's bodies clean. Period. So I seriously don't get what their angle is here? How does it help business by denouncing a guy for using makeup effects to look like another guy? Which is exactly what a certain percentage of acting is. I suppose you could argue they want to promote genuinely fat actors, because the more surface area a body has, the more demand for their product. So having a Brendan Fraser, whose weight is proportional to his height, might mean fewer roles for the actors who are better for business. Jack Black. Jonah Hill. Eric Stonestreet. Anthony Anderson. James Cordon. Most of the surviving cast from The Sopranos. Weensie from Old School:


So maybe Dove's motive is profit driven. But why would anyone not motivated by money be against an actor acting in a fat suit?

First of all, acting in heavy makeup to look like something you're not has been going on since they first started making movies. Was anyone offended when they made Nosferatu because they should've hired a real bald, pointy-fanged Transylvanian ghoul:

Giphy Images.

… to make it so 10 year old me couldn't get to sleep when I was camping out in the side yard in our popup trailer with my cousin after watching late night TV? Should Universal have dug up dead bodies and stiched them together when they made Frankenstein? Jeff Goldblum was nominated for The Fly. Was that offensive to half human/half insect actors who've been struggling to find work? 

We can all appreciate actors who undergo severe body transformations in order to look convincing for roles. Robert DeNiro got fat to play old, post-boxing Jake LaMotta. Matthew McConaughy lost a ton of weight for Dallas Buyers Club. As did Tom Hanks for both Philadelphia and Castaway. And the list of guys who got ripped to play athletes and superheroes is too long to even begin. Most impressively of all, Charlize Theron actually made herself not look like one of the 10 most gorgeous women on Earth for Monster. But it takes a special breed of sociopathy to expect Fraser to pack on 400 pounds just in order to make a movie. Especially one that is too depressing for anyone to actually ever watch. 

It's even worse to act outraged that the producers didn't go out and find some morbidly obese actor. I'm sorry if being featured on My 600 Lb Life isn't a springboard to bigger (again, sorry) and better things. And maybe there are guys who look just like Fraser did under all that latex out there trying to make it in show business. Sending headshots around. Showing up for auditions. Hoping to land a role in the next Marvel film or live action Disney remake or whatever. And The Whale would've been perfect for one of them. And I'm sorry the studio went with the recognizable name instead.

But instead of promoting that lifestyle in the name of "body positivity," we ought to - let's make that need to - promote health. Only a monster would be in favor of ridiculing people with crippling weight problems. They're in the throes of a medical crisis, and deserve empathy, compassion, and help. But the solution isn't pretending severe weight is not a problem. Perhaps the most urgent problem we have right now. It wasn't people who look like real Brendan Fraser who've dying of Covid; it's the ones who look like the character he played. 


Good luck selling more soap with this. Though given the ratio on Dove's Tweet is 2.4K replies and 59 likes, I doubt that'll be the result. But instead of #LetsChangeBeauty, we should be focused more on #LetsGetHealthy.