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‘Insatiable’ Star Debby Ryan Defends Show’s Controversial Use of a Fatsuit, Comparing it to ‘Friends’

“We’re just trying to portray an origin story," she says.

"Insatiable" Netflix Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan in “Insatiable”

Tina Rowden/Netflix

It would be putting it mildly to say that “Insatiable” has not been well received, as the Netflix drama about fat-shaming has been accused of doing what it’s ostensibly criticizing. One aspect of the show that’s received particular criticism is its use of a fatsuit in flashback scenes, something that star Debby Ryan said she was initially hesitant about — and didn’t want to come across like it did in “Friends.”

“We knew that this conversation needed to be had. We knew that this societal brokenness needed to be addressed, but we didn’t know how badly it needed to be addressed,” Ryan says in an interview with Teen Vogue, her first about the polarizing series. “My friend, a few days before the trailer hit, in reference to something else, said, ‘The size of the reaction is the size of the wound,’ and it stayed with me.”

As for the fatsuit, which is used to show her character pre–weight loss, the actress was worried that “it would almost be done in parody like in ‘Friends.’”

“There was a point where [the showrunner] and I are like, ‘If at any point this is funny, if at any point people laugh, we’re not doing it.’” Ryan adds. “We’re not doing the show that we’re trying to do,” Ryan explained. “We’re just trying to portray an origin story. We’re trying to showcase that.” Read her full interview here.

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