Netflix’s new show Insatiable is getting reams of ink, but not for the right reasons. The show follows a bullied high-school girl nicknamed "fatty Patt," who gets her jaw wired shut after getting punched (by a homeless man who she punched first because he tried to steal her candy bar, sigh).
Fast forward three months, and she’s 70 pounds lighter and it’s time to go back to school.
Shortly after the trailer debuted, 200,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling on the streamer to cancel the show. The petition claimed the show shamed fat people and could even trigger eating disorders: "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."
Reviewers aren’t thrilled either, calling it "poorly done and misguided."
The show has gotten some support on social, with one user writing: "It is not fat shaming. It’s shaming our society for mistreatment of non-Barbie doll types. All y’all snowflakes need to calm the f*** down and give it a chance. It’s called satire, look it up."
Debby Ryan, who plays Patty, and Alyssa Milano, who also stars, have defended the show, and now Insatiable’s creator is weighing in.
Lauren Gussis tells The Hollywood Reporter that she has grappled with "every single one" of the social and body issues depicted onscreen, and that the reaction has been not only overblown, it borders on censorship.
Gussis says: "That’s the reality of what still happens. There’s a lot of people in this country who are evolved. But I know that my experience was that there are still people in the world who think that stuff is OK. To portray those people who actually exist in the world, is real. I think we’re in a real danger of censorship if we decide that we all have to tell stories in a certain way so that everybody else feels safe. In my own experience, growth comes from discomfort and pain."