Actor Brendan Fraser has received quite a bit of attention from his role in the upcoming film The Whale directed by Darren Aronofsky and written by playwright Samuel D. Hunter.
Last month, Fraser received a six minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival for his performance, with Oscar buzz surrounding his triumphant comeback.
In the film, Fraser plays Charlie, a 600-pound gay man suffering the loss of a lover while also attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.
However, Fraser is also receiving some backlash as he wears a weight-increasing prosthetic, a.k.a a fat suit, for his role.
When asked about the criticism he has received, Fraser told Newsweek:
"I'm not a small man. And I don't know what the metric is to qualify to play the role."
"I only know that I had to give an honest a performance as I can."
Director Aronofsky also told Newsweek:
"There's no way you can cast someone to play this job, so we had to use makeup to get there."
"Most of the people that are playing critique have not seen the film. So I welcome everyone to see the film because the film is about bringing empathy to characters that you don't expect to feel for."
Some Twitter users defended Fraser, claiming due to the character's changes throughout the film prosthetics were necessary.
Many, however, feel the use of the prosthetics was in bad taste, further glorifying Hollywood's stigmatization and mockery of those who don't meet their archaic body standards.
It seems several are torn between being angry and wanting to support Fraser in what could be his great comeback.
The fat suit is not the only controversy.
Several LGBTQ+ actors have criticized The Whale for casting a large heterosexual man when large gay men cannot get casting calls because of their size and sexual orientation.
Frasier finished the interview with:
"I'm hopeful that we can change some hearts and minds at least in terms of how we think and feel about those who live with obesity."
The Whale is set to be released in theaters in the U.S. in December but has been playing at several festivals.