The first trailer of Netflix’s new series Insatiable has sparked controversy over the lead character’s transformation.
Taglined as “A coming of rage story”, the teen comedy follows Patty (Debby Ryan), an overweight high-schooler teased for the way she looks. The other students refer to Ryan’s character as “Fatty Patty” and post pictures of her face on a pig’s body on her locker.
During the summer holidays, Patty gets her jaw wired shut, loses weight and comes back to school looking unrecognisable and attractive. Now popular, Patty decides she can join any clique in the school but instead wants revenge on the bullies who used to make her life hell.
Ryan, a thin actress, wears an unconvincing fat suit for the “before” scenes and shovels food into her mouth.
The 12-episode has received backlash from viewers and critics over glorifying eating disorders, body-shaming and sending the message of women being unable to be happy unless they’re thin.
There is now a petition online demanding Netflix to cancel the series with 85,000 signatures.
“For so long, the narrative has told women and young impressionable girls that in order to be popular, have friends, to be desirable for the male gaze, and to some extent be a worthy human … that we must be thin,” the petition states.
“This series will cause eating disorders, and perpetuate the further objectification of women’s bodies. The trailer has already triggered people with eating disorders. Let’s stop this, and protect further damage.”
Cast and crew has defended Insatiable on social media.
Creator of the series and showrunner Lauren Gussis released a statement begging viewers to give the show a chance.
— Lauren Gussis (@GussisLauren) July 21, 2018
While Ryan posted a lengthy statement on Twitter, saying she was excited to work on Insatiable because the series tackles the shame women feel about their bodies through satire.
“Twelve years after my own struggles with body image … I was drawn to this show’s willingness to go to real places about how difficult and scary it can be to move through the world in a body, whether you’re being praised or criticized for its size, and what it feels like to pray to be ignored because it’s easier than being seen,” Ryan wrote.
— debbyryan (@DebbyRyan) July 21, 2018
Co-star Alyssa Milano posted a tweet “We are not shaming Patty. We are addressing (through comedy) the damage that occurs from fat shaming. I hope that clears it up.”
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
Insatiable debuts on Netflix on Friday, August 10.
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