Dove has collaborated on a “body positivity” initiative with Zyahna Bryant, a Black Lives Matter activist.
Bryant previously made headlines when she accused a white student, Morgan Bettinger, of making threatening comments during a 2020 protest in Charlottesville. However, Bryant later conceded that she might not have accurately heard the alleged remarks.
Bryant, after announcing her association with Dove on Instagram, had previously claimed that Bettinger, a University of Virginia student and daughter of a deceased police officer, suggested that George Floyd demonstrators would serve as “good speed bumps.” Despite sharing videos of the incident, the alleged comments were not captured, as highlighted by a comprehensive article by Reason. The narrative gained traction in local media, leading Bryant to push for Bettinger’s removal from the university.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) September 14, 2023
Bettinger clarified her side, stating she was returning from work and noticed a dump truck partially blocking the road. Upon passing it, she realized the path ahead was obstructed. She recounted thanking a truck driver for safeguarding the protesters, some of whom were seated on the road, implying they could have been in danger without the blockade.
The university’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) conducted an investigation. They found that out of the four allegations Bryant made, three lacked supporting evidence from other witnesses. The fourth claim, where Bettinger supposedly shouted about protesters being “good speed bumps,” was backed by one witness. However, this witness’s account was inconsistent with Bryant’s version and her own previous statements. Bryant later revised her narrative, admitting uncertainty about hearing Bettinger utter the comment. Despite the lack of concrete evidence against Bettinger, she graduated with a tarnished record and reputation, as per Reason.
Bryant’s recent Instagram post, promoting her collaboration with Dove, reads, “#DovePartner Fat liberation is something we should all be talking about! 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.”