Netflix’s upcoming comedy satire “Insatiable” is under fire for allegedly promoting body-shaming. A petition circulating online urging the streaming giant to cancel the series for promoting body-shaming has earned over 130,000 signatures and counting. The petition argues the show will have damaging consequences for teenage girls dealing with negative body image issues.
“Insatiable” stars Disney favorite Debbie Ryan as an overweight high school student who is bullied for her physical appearance. The trailers for the series show Ryan wearing a fat suit. The character ends up losing weight after a face injury leaves her jaw wired shut, and she decides to use her skinnier looks and newfound popularity to exact revenge on the bullies who tormented her for being overweight.
“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 reads. “This series needs to be cancelled. The damage control of releasing this series will be far worse, insidious, and sinister for teenage girls, than it will be damaging for Netflix in their loss of profit.”
Ryan has already defended the series against body-shaming accusations. In a note posted to Twitter on July 21, Ryan told her followers she suffered from her own body image issues years ago and would never agree to star in a series that promoted body shaming.
“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 said about accepting the lead role.
Alyssa Milano, who stars opposite Ryan on the series, said the show is not “shaming” but “addressing (through comedy) the damage that occurs from fat shaming.” All 13 episodes of “Insatiable” are set to premiere on Netflix August 10.
— debbyryan (@DebbyRyan) July 21, 2018
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