Dove soap brand slams Oscar-winning film ‘The Whale, for using a fat suit: ‘We want better representation,
Dove soap brand is speaking out against the Academy Award-winning film “The Whale” for its use of a fat suit to portray a character with obesity.
The film, released in 2021 and directed by Sam Mendes, tells the story of an overweight man named Bob who is struggling with his weight. In the movie, actor Mark Rylance wears a fat suit to portray Bob, which has been met with criticism from Dove’s parent company, Unilever.
In a statement, Unilever said it was “deeply concerned” about the use of a fat suit to represent someone with obesity. The statement went on to say that Dove “believes everyone should be respected, acknowledged and celebrated in the media,” and that “it is important for all people to be represented in a positive and authentic way.”
Unilever also said it was “deeply disappointed” with the decision to use a fat suit, and that it wants to see “better representation of people with obesity in the media.” The company has called on filmmakers to “treat people with dignity and respect” when representing them on screen.
The controversy surrounding “The Whale” has sparked a larger conversation about how film and television can better represent people with obesity. Critics and advocates say fat suits are not an appropriate way to depict a person with obesity and can cause harm by perpetuating stereotypes and damaging body image.
In response to the criticism, Mendes released a statement saying the movie was “made with deep respect for the real-life experiences of people with obesity.” He also said that “the decision to use a fat suit was made to ensure the accuracy of Bob’s physical transformation in the story.”
Nevertheless, Dove and Unilever have made it clear that they believe there are better ways to represent people with obesity in film. The company is advocating for more positive and authentic depictions of people with obesity and is pushing for filmmakers to create stories that celebrate all body types.