Why Accusations of ‘Fatphobia’ and Criticisms of Brendan Fraser for ‘The Whale’ are Stupid and Irrational

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The buzz around Darren Aronofsky’s critically-acclaimed film The Whale does not sound pleasing to both the director and its main star, Brendan Fraser. Some fans are accusing the movie of promoting fatphobia. Moreover, people are criticizing the casting and the use of prosthetics.

Brendan Fraser The Whale
Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Aronofsky has responded to the accusations and defended his decision to cast Fraser. In September, Mean Girls actor Daniel Franzese raised the question of why they did not hire an actual queer obese guy for the role. Fraser had to use a fat suit or prosthetics to transform himself into a 600-pound English teacher struggling with obesity.

RELATED: Brendan Fraser’s SPECTACULAR Performance in ‘The Whale’ Propels the Film to Achieve the Biggest Limited Opening Weekend of 2022


Darren Aronofsky Says The Fatphobia Accusations On The Whale Movie “Makes No Sense”

Indeed, the criticisms do not make any sense for the fact that Brendan Fraser is the perfect actor to portray the role. The use of make-up and prosthetics is necessary to look the part. Fraser had the ability to translate the character’s personality into the screen, and Aronofsky saw that in him.

Brendan Fraser 2
Brendan Fraser

Some critics also called the movie’s representation of Charlie’s body “abhorrent,” and other column writers labeled the film “exploitative.” Movies like The Whale is always open to various interpretations, and audience reception speaks volumes. It is important to view the film through the lens of the director, as Aronofsky claims “an exercise in empathy.”

Fraser also reiterated that Charlie is not only portrayed as an obese person, but also as a teacher and a father. Viewers sometimes forget that the focus on the main character is not only on his eating disorder but also on his family relationships and his mental health, too. Charlie is portrayed as a well-rounded character.


RELATED: Brendan Fraser Reveals Original ‘The Mummy’ Movie Was So ‘Authentic’ Because “We Rode Our Own Camels, Ran Around in the Heat of the Desert of Morocco” Unlike CGI Heavy Tom Cruise Reboot

Fans Show Appreciation For Brendan Fraser’s Character Amidst Backlash

Brendan Fraser The Mummy Returns
Brendan Fraser in The Mummy Returns

Despite the accusations of fatphobia and Fraser’s casting, fans are still warm towards the movie. The Whale became the biggest limited opening in 2022, the director’s biggest achievement since Black Swan in 2010. The film sold out all tickets over the weekend in six theaters, earning $360,000 for a per-screen average of $60,000. This proves that no backlash could ever bring down a well-made film.

The success of The Whale, and Brendan Fraser’s major spotlight comeback, showed that people are becoming more open-minded to talking about the struggles of being a human. Not only did the film pave the way to raise awareness on the topic of obesity, but also brought back one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors of all time.


The Whale is currently playing in select theaters.

RELATED: “I thought I was going to cry”: Brendan Fraser Betrayed By The Hollywood Press, Asked Him to Take Being S-xually Assaulted as a Joke That Left Him Traumatized


Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1923

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.