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‘Insatiable’: Netflix Exec Defends Controversial Comedy, Says Criticism of ‘Fat-Shaming’ Is ‘Embedded Within the Show’

TCA: The upcoming series, created by Lauren Gussis and directed by Andrew Fleming, premieres Aug. 10.



Annette Brown/Netflix

The upcoming Netflix comedy “Insatiable” is still under review embargo, but the recent release of a trailer elicited a storm of controversy, with over 130,000 people signing a petition asking Netflix not to release the show over concerns that the premise encourages body-shaming.

But addressing journalists at the Television Critics Association press tour, vice president of original content Cindy Holland responded to a question about the show by saying that the show’s creator, Lauren Gussis, “felt very strongly about exploring those issues, based on her experience, in an over-the-top satirical way,” but that the ultimate message of the show was about being “comfortable with yourself.”

As for the concern that the message of the series promotes body-shaming, Holland observed that “criticism [of fat-shaming] is embedded within the show itself.”

The official description of “Insatiable,” provided by Netflix, is as follows:

“Insatiable” is a dark, twisted revenge comedy starring Debby Ryan, Dallas Roberts, and Alyssa Milano. For years, Patty (Debby Ryan) has been bullied, ignored, and underestimated by those around her because of her weight. But now that she finds herself suddenly thin, Patty is out for payback against anyone who has ever made her feel bad about herself. Bob Armstrong (Dallas Roberts), a disgraced attorney whose true passion is coaching beauty pageant contestant, is the only one who sees Patty’s potential, and takes her under his wing — first as a legal client, and then as a pageant contestant whom he coaches toward becoming the top pageant queen in the country. But Bob and his wife Coralee (Alyssa Milano) have no idea how deep Patty’s rage goes, or how far she will go to exact revenge on anyone who has ever wronged her. Bullies beware: payback’s a bitch, revenge is sweet, and if you cross Patty, you’ll be her next treat.

Whether Holland’s answer will ease the controversy is unclear, as more than one reporter observed:

But audiences will get to find out for themselves when “Insatiable” premieres Friday, Aug. 10 on Netflix. Check out the trailer below.

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