Actress Alyssa Milano has defended her new Netflix show Insatiable, following an online uproar which has accused it of ‘fat shaming’.
The comedy series centres of Debby Ryan’s character Patty, an overweight girl who is bullied at high school, but who then loses weight after her jaw is wired shut.
Per the series synopsis: “Now that she finds herself suddenly thin, Patty is out for payback against anyone who has ever made her feel bad about herself.”
“Having my jaw wired shut lost me more than just my summer vacation,” Patty says in a trailer unveiled yesterday. “Now, I could be the former fatty who turned into a brain. Or an athlete. Or a princess. No. I’d rather have revenge.”
Judgement has been swift and brutal, however.
you have a chance to make creative, engaging, original content from fat people about fat people's lives and you choose to … put a skinny person in a fat suit and make jokes about how sad her life is and about what a crazy bitch she turns into. That's so lazy and pathetic.
— Angie Manfredi (@misskubelik) July 19, 2018
i love debby ryan so much but her new show “insatiable” is so toxic
— jenna 107 (@jennajozeph) July 19, 2018
would’ve been a much cooler story to see a young fat girl get revenge on her bullies by idk… making the cheer squad. winning the lottery?? getting the guy??? idc. stop making fat people feel like they have to change their appearance to be worthy of doing/being anything. thanks.
— emily (@junkboii) July 19, 2018
So this is a story about a girl who used to be fat and now she isn't, she can finally have revenge? I don't know. Maybe a story where she loves her fatness would have been better. Rather than her literally having her jaw wired shut so that she cannot eat to lose weight.
— MD (@manika0098) July 19, 2018
But Milano, who plays Patty’s mum Coralee, has said that the show, which airs in August, shames the notion of fat shaming, rather than bolstering it.
“We are not shaming Patty. We are addressing (through comedy) the damage that occurs from fat shaming. I hope that clears it up,” she tweeted.
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
Ryan has also addressed the brewing controversy, linking to an article on Teen Vogue which says that the show is ‘taking aim at teenage bullying, society’s warped beauty standards, and the monsters that live inside all of us’.
Netflix has not commented on the furore.
But it has courted controversy in the past with teen-aimed series, notably 13 Reasons Why, which has been lambasted for glamorising suicide.