Netflix released the trailer for its new series Insatiable on Thursday, and the dark comedy was met with swift backlash for its “fat shaming” premise.
Disney alum Debby Ryan stars as “fatty Patty,” an overweight high-school student who gets her jaw wired shut and loses weight. “Now that she finds herself suddenly thin, Patty is out for payback against anyone who has ever made her feel bad about herself,” a synopsis reads.
Alyssa Milano, who plays Patty’s mom, has been called a hypocrite on Twitter for starring in the “disgusting” show when she’s a big advocate for the women’s movement. The actress responded to one disappointed fan, writing, “We are not shaming Patty.”
We are not shaming Patty. We are addressing (through comedy) the damage that occurs from fat shaming. I hope that clears it up. Also, this article does a good job of explaining it more: https://t.co/WoR8R7TjqR #Insatiable https://t.co/GFkDdsn1uh
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 19, 2018
Ryan — who wears a fat suit for the overweight scenes — hasn’t addressed the controversy directly, but she retweeted the same Teen Vogue article, which says the comedy is “taking aim at teenage bullying, society’s warped beauty standards, and the monsters that live inside all of us.”
There is plenty to take issue with in the two-minute teaser.
“Having my jaw wired shut lost me more than just my summer vacation,” Patty says. “Now, I could be the former fatty who turned into a brain. Or an athlete. Or a princess. No. I’d rather have revenge.” In another scene, Ryan struts through a park in a red bikini under a sign that reads, “Benefiting Northern Georgia Eating Disorder Recovery Clinic.”
The response has been overwhelmingly negative since the trailer’s release.
“What in the absolute f*** is this. Honestly, did anyone who worked on this show talk to a fat person? Like ever? This pushes disordered eating AND the fact that you have to lose weight to be “better”. Shame on everyone who was involved with this project,” one user directed to Ryan and the Insatiable Twitter handle.
The show has been dubbed “toxic,” with many pointing out that this was a big opportunity missed by Netflix.
you have a chance to make creative, engaging, original content from fat people about fat people’s lives and you choose to … put a skinny person in a fat suit and make jokes about how sad her life is and about what a crazy bitch she turns into. That’s so lazy and pathetic.
— Angie Manfredi (@misskubelik) July 19, 2018
it could have been a story of self love and learning to love your body as it is, and then choosing to push forward and better yourself and enduring further teasing at gyms but still pushing forward and doing it for yourself and no one else but nooooo let’s wire her mouth shut yep
— kiarán🌿113 (@vessxll) July 19, 2018
i love debby ryan so much but her new show “insatiable” is so toxic
— jenna 107 (@jennajozeph) July 19, 2018
would’ve been a much cooler story to see a young fat girl get revenge on her bullies by idk… making the cheer squad. winning the lottery?? getting the guy??? idc. stop making fat people feel like they have to change their appearance to be worthy of doing/being anything. thanks.
— emily (@junkboii) July 19, 2018
So this is a story about a girl who used to be fat and now she isn’t, she can finally have revenge? I don’t know. Maybe a story where she loves her fatness would have been better. Rather than her literally having her jaw wired shut so that she cannot eat to lose weight.
— MD (@manika0098) July 19, 2018
Netflix is no stranger to controversy when it comes to the shows they market to teens. Many have argued that 13 Reasons Why, which was just renewed for a third season, glorifies suicide. Insatiable is set to drop 12 episodes on Aug. 10. Netflix has yet to address the backlash.
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