Brendan Fraser’s Best Actor Win for ‘The Whale’ Is Fatphobia at Its Worst

When Fraser received a standing ovation for his award on Sunday night, it was clear who voted for him: an industry full of those who continue to demonize and balk at fatness.

I’ll be upfront in saying that I haven’t actually seen The Whale, and I don’t intend to. I made this decision in the fall, when reviews started coming out after its film festival premieres in Venice and Toronto. My decision to skip it wasn’t only about Fraser donning a fat suit in order to portray the dying, divorced, 600-pound English teacher Charlie. It was also that it was written and directed by two thin men—the original playwright and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter, who has said he “self-medicated with food” as a young man (which is not the same as identifying as fat), and the thin director Darren Aronofsky.

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