Soon after the first trailer for Netflix’s new dark comedy Insatiable went online last week, the new series starring Debby Ryan and Alyssa Milano came under fire for its apparent used of aged “fat-shaming” tropes. Considering that the series is about a young overweight girl who “has been bullied, ignored, and underestimated by those around her because of her weight,” becomes “suddenly thin,” and seeks revenge “against anyone who has ever made her feel bad about herself,” the criticisms aren’t without merit. Hence a Change.org petition that popped up soon after the trailer first dropped.
“This series needs to be cancelled,” read the petition, which has gathered over 115,000 signatures as of this writing. “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.”
In response to the initial backlash against the show’s trailer, Ryan and Milano took to social media to try and quell the criticism and reassure their fans. “As someone who cares deeply about the way our bodies, especially women’s, are shamed and policed in society, I was so excited to work on Insatiable because it’s a show that addresses and confronts those ideas through satire,” Ryan wrote on Instagram. “We’re not in the business of fat shaming. We’re out to turn a sharp eye on broken, harmful systems that equate thinness with worth… I hope fans will wait and watch the show before passing judgment.”
Meanwhile, Milano took to Twitter to express her support for Insatiable while responding directly to complaints on the platform. In a tweet directed at another person who described the trailer as “disgusting,” the actress said, “We are not shaming Patty. We are addressing (through comedy) the damage that occurs from fat shaming. I hope that clears it up.”
Milano also did a live video responding to the trailer backlash on Twitter. “Of course fat-shaming is wrong, totally wrong,” she said, adding that the reaction to the trailer was completely understandable. “I hope that those of you that tune in and see the full show, because there are 12 episodes, and really see what the show is about, will recognize that this is satire.”