Fact Check

Did Beauty Brand Dove Criticize 'The Whale' for Use of Fat Suit?

One of the soap brand's current slogans is "Together we can end appearance hate."

Published March 16, 2023

 (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Image Via Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Claim:
In a tweet critical of the movie "The Whale," in which actor Brendan Fraser wore a prosthetic fat suit, the beauty products brand Dove said, "Stop giving fat suits awards!! We want better representation in Hollywood."

On March 13, 2023, one day after the Academy Award for best actor was awarded to "The Whale" star Brendan Fraser, who wore a prosthetic "fat suit" to play the obese main character, a Twitter account apparently associated with the beauty products brand Dove tweeted critically of the award, saying,"Stop giving fat suits awards!! We want better representation in Hollywood. #LetsChangeBeauty."

Stop giving fat suits awards ‼️ We want better representation (Twitter)

Snopes verified that the tweet, issued by the official Dove account, was authentic. It was in reply to a tweet from another account that has since restricted who is allowed to view its content, but a copy of the tweet still viewable via Google Cache showed it said the following: "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."

The original tweet and Dove's reply tapped into an already roiling controversy over the appropriateness of casting a non-obese actor wearing a fat suit for the role instead giving work to an actor whose body type actually matches that of the character. The film was also criticized for what some viewers felt was a fat-shaming preoccupation with the main character's body. Dove's comments were in line with the brand's previously expressed support for organizations seeking to end body-size discrimination. To date, there has been no follow-up from the account regarding the tweet.

Snopes has reached out to Dove's public relations team for comment and will update this article should we receive more information.

Sources

"Ending Body Size Discrimination." Dove US, https://www.dove.com/us/en/stories/about-dove/ending-body-size-discrimination.html. Accessed 16 Mar. 2023.

"https://Twitter.Com/Dove." Twitter, https://twitter.com/Dove. Accessed 16 Mar. 2023.

"'The Whale' Garners Controversy for Not Casting an Actor with Obesity as the Lead." NPR, 9 Dec. 2022. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2022/12/09/1141820393/the-whale-garners-controversy-for-not-casting-an-obese-actor-in-lead-role.

Rosenbloom, Alli. "Brendan Fraser Flooded with Emotion as He Wins Best Actor Oscar for 'The Whale.'" CNN, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/13/entertainment/brendan-fraser-oscars-best-actor/index.html.

Sharf, Zack. "Brendan Fraser's Prosthetic Suit for 'The Whale' Added 300 Extra Pounds, Took Up to Six Hours to Get On." Variety, 31 Aug. 2022, https://variety.com/2022/film/news/brendan-fraser-the-whale-fat-suit-300-pounds-1235355568/.

David Emery is a West Coast-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.