Netflix is currently weathering another wave of controversy over content alleged to be “triggering” in its portrayal of a real world issue. This time around its a Sundance approved drama featuring Lily Collins playing a young anorexic woman that’s generating questions about how sensitive subject matter should presented on the streaming service.
The film, equipped with the title To The Bone, has been accused ahead of its Netflix premiere of putting inappropriate Hollywood gloss on eating disorders and turning the disease into glamorous entertainment without considering the consequences.
Twitter also saw a number of voices emerge in defense of the film and its depiction of the lead character’s relationship with anorexia, including a response from the film’s writer and director Marti Noxon. She pushed back against the notion that To The Bone was glamorizing eating disorders and got candid about her own personal health battles. According to Noxon, this was a project taken on with a lot of care and responsibility and it’s not the insensitive approach it has been interpreted as being.
“Having struggled with Anorexia and Bulimia well into my 20s, I know firsthand the struggle, isolation and shame a person feels when they are in the grips of this illness,” wrote Noxon. “In an effort to tell this story as responsibly as we could, we spoke with other survivors and worked with Project Heal throughout the production in the hopes of being truthful in a way that wasn’t explosive. That said, it’s important to remember EDs is unique and To The Bone is just one of the millions of ED stories that could be told in the US at this very moment. My goal with the film was not to glamorize EDs, but to serve as a conversation starter about an issue that is too often clouded by secrecy and misconceptions.”
The film, which stars Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Preston and Lili Taylor, will have its Netflix premiere on July 14. We have the trailer below and it does contain sensitive subject matter.