Furious conservatives have begun boycotting Dove after the soap brand hired a Black Lives Matter activist notorious for destroying a white student’s life over a remark she later admitted she may have ‘misheard.’
Carole Thorpe, from Charlottesville in Virginia, shared a snap of three bars of Dove soap tossed in the trash Thursday on learning the Unilever-owned brand had joined forces with Zyahna Bryant to push a ‘fat liberation’ campaign.
Sharing her horror at news of Bryant’s glitzy Dove gig, Thorpe wrote: ‘After hearing that Dove Beauty chose Zyahna Bryant -who ruined Morgan Bettinger’s life – for their ‘fat acceptance ambassador,’ THIS lifelong large lady & now former Dove customer tossed out the last three bars of Dove product she will EVER buy. I have written to Unilever too.’
Scores of other angry users on X, formerly known as Twitter, also vowed to stop buying Dove products in protest at the campaign, which 22 year-old Bryant has been pushing on Instagram.
X owner Elon Musk himself weighed in on Dove’s partnership with Bryant, which was first reported by DailyMail.com, by branding it ‘messed up.’
Bryant claimed that she had overheard a white student named Morgan Bettinger threaten Black Lives Matter protesters in Charlottesville in July 2020.
But Bryant later admitted she may have ‘misheard’, after gleefully watching and joining-in as Bettinger was canceled and her life was destroyed.
Bettinger was subjected to a torrent of abuse and a campaign to remove her from UVA. Staff and students ganged up against her and scuppered her future prospects.
DailyMail.com has contacted Unilever for a comment. The fiasco that threatens to engulf Dove is reminiscent of Bud Light’s disastrous decision to partner with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which saw the beer firm’s value tank.
‘Guess I’ve bought my last bar of Dove soap,’ said another.
Another added: ‘I’ve stopped buying their products. Never again!’
Using the hashtag ‘Boycott Dove’, another said: ‘I’ll have to toss my Dove products and never buy them again!’
Bryant last week posted on Instagram a video declaring she was a Dove ambassador, and discussing ‘fat liberation’ – a campaign to end the stigma of being overweight.
‘#DovePartner Fat liberation is something we should all be talking about!’ wrote Bryant.
‘That’s why I am partnering with Dove, to support the work of @naafaofficial, @flareforjustice in the Campaign for Size Freedom.
‘Tell us what Fat Liberation means to you using the hashtag #sizefreedom and tagging @dove to share your story.’
In an accompanying clip Bryant, who is proudly plus-size herself, said: ‘My belief is that we should be centering the voices and experiences of the most marginalized people and communities at all times.
‘So when I think about what fat liberation looks like to me, I think about centering the voices of those who live in and who maneuver through spaces and institutions in a fat body.’
Bryant’s 27,000 followers on Instagram responded with an outpouring of support, praising her for promoting ‘fat liberation’ and declaring that the campaign was long overdue.
But she was roundly condemned on social media after news of her role in Bettinger’s cancellation was first shared by Reason magazine – with Dove now receiving blowback over its close association with Bryant.
‘This woman put another UVA student through hell, and it was all a woke lie,’ said one.
‘Shame on Dove for hiring her. Worse than Dylan Mulvaney. #BoycottDove’
‘Dove? I need to make my own soap,’ said another.
‘Down goes Dove,’ said another.
The soap brand has long associated itself with woke causes pushing body positivity. Parent company Unilever’s other megabrands include Ben & Jerry’s, Domestos, Vaseline and Hellman’s.
Earlier this year, transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s tie-up with Bud Light to celebrate a year of living as a woman triggered a furious backlash and seemingly permanent slump in sales for the beer brand.
Bryant has in recent years been making a name for herself as a BLM activist.
Her website says that she began campaigning as a child.
‘At the age of 12, she organized her first demonstration, a rally for Justice for Trayvon Martin and other unarmed black lives lost to police violence,’ the website states.
She went on to organize the Black Student Union at her high school, and join the Charlottesville Youth Council.
In the spring of 2016, she began petitioning Charlottesville city to remove statues of confederate leaders from the city, which the city eventually did.
Conservatives were furious, and in August 2017, a Unite The Right rally was held in Charlottesville, with neo-Nazis carrying tiki torches marching through the streets chanting: ‘Jews will not replace us.’
A counter-protester, Heather Heyer, 32, was deliberately run over and killed by white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr: he was sentenced to life in prison for her murder.
Donald Trump infamously declared that there were ‘good people on both sides’ at the rally.
In July 2020, amid the George Floyd protests, Bettinger mistakenly drove into a street where protesters were gathered.
As she tried to get away, her car was encircled.
Bettinger said she told a truck driver, who was in front of her and blocking the way, that: ‘It’s a good thing that you are here, because otherwise these people would have been speed bumps.’
Bryant tweeted that Bettinger had said the protesters would have ‘make good speedbumps’ and implied the words had been said with malevolent intent.
Bettinger was quickly identified, with the revelation that she was pro-police – and with a late father who had worked as a police officer – further outraging her critics.
Bryant and others called for a severe punishment, or expulsion from UVA.
Bryant then embarked on an email campaign to have Bettinger expelled, tweeting: ‘EMAIL these UVA deans now to demand that Morgan face consequences for her actions and that UVA stop graduating racists.’
Bettinger was subsequently shunned at college, and even stalked around her hometown, making her fear for her safety.
UVA’s Judiciary Committee later found Bettinger guilty of making a legitimate threat, despite being unable to prove Bryant’s claim about her intentions.
Its ‘jurors’ told her that even saying the words in a harmless manner during the anti-racism protests of summer 2020 merited punishment.
Bryant also filed a complaint with the school’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR), where the student activist claimed Bettinger had made the statement five times and had discriminated against Bryant on the basis of race.
EOCR found that three of the five accusations could not be corroborated, and Bryant herself later admitted she may have misheard the ‘speed bumps’ claim.
Most damningly, the report – which was brought forth because of Bryant’s complaint – found that Bryant most likely did not hear Bettinger make the comment first hand.
No eyewitnesses were able to corroborate Bryant’s version of events.
‘Based on Bryant’s immediate and surprised tone following the second third party’s reply, EOCR finds it more likely than not that it was at that moment Bryant first learned that [Bettinger] made a statement about protestors making speed bumps,’ the report, obtained by Reason, stated.
The Judiciary Committee’s ruling is still noted on her permanent record – ruining the now-graduate’s chances at law school.
Bettinger is considering filing a lawsuit.