Brendan Fraser Responds To Critics Accusing ‘The Whale’ Of Being Fat-Phobic: ‘At Least People Are Talking About This’

The Oscar nominee explained that he felt that the movie helped spark a conversation about people living with obesity, and he was glad that it got people talking.

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Image Credit: Soul Brother/Shutterstock for SAG Awards

One of the most talked about movies of 2022 and this award season has been The Whale starring Brendan Fraser. While the movie has garnered many award show nominations including a Best Actor nomination for the star, it has faced some criticism, with some people saying the film was “fat-phobic.” Brendan, 54, addressed the concerns, while saying he was glad that it had sparked discussion, during an interview on The View on Monday, March 6. “At least people are talking about this,” he said. “I’m grateful for that.”

When asked about critics who have called the movie insensitive, Brendan took a long pause and said that he believed that the movie did more to help spread awareness about obesity than do harm. “Much of the argument—personal view—it seems a bit self-serving in some ways. I don’t know if that argument speaks on behalf of all of those touched by the disease of obesity, and I’d like to think that we’ve made more steps towards helping ameliorate the problem than we have done to divide and separate one another,” he said.

Brendan is seen on the red carpet of the SAG Awards. (Soul Brother/Shutterstock for SAG Awards)

Earlier in the interview, Brendan had also mentioned that many people were inspired to reach out for help after seeing The Whale, and that felt better than the awards. “To see this film and know that the number of people who have reached out for help who otherwise would have possibly not had the courage to do so has gone up significantly since last December when the film came out,” he said. “In many ways, that feels like a win for me.

Co-host Sara Haines also mentioned that the actor had worked with the Obesity Action Coalition and spoken with people who lived with severe obesity, and he similarly said that he was happy to spark conversation. “These are people who deserve our empathy, and these are people who have thoughts and feelings, and this is a story that’s behind closed doors anywhere,” he said. “If you accept the invitation to come and see this film without bias, then you’ll be confronted by stories and ask yourself to challenge some previously held beliefs.”

Brendan is seen as Charlie in ‘The Whale.’ (Everett Collection)

Brendan has been lauded for his portrayal of a reclusive teacher, living with obesity in the Darren Aronofsky-directed picture. Besides being nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award, he has won a Critics Choice Award and a SAG Award for his performance.

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