Netflix VP Original Series Cindy Holland defended the streaming services controversial new series Insatiable, which critics are demanding be canceled before it launches, based on its trailer.
A Change.org petition calling for the cancellation of Insatiable launched last week now has more than 200K signatures. The petition accuses the series of “body-shaming” and was launched in response to the trailer released last Thursday.
“The creator [Lauren Gussis] felt very strongly about exploring these issues based on her own experiences, but satirically, in a very over the top way,” Holland told TV critics at TCA.
“Ultimately, the message of the show is that what is most important is you feel most comfortable” in your own self, she said, while acknowledging the issue of “fat shaming is in the DNA of the show.”
Critics complained to her that Netflix has prohibited them from posting reviews of the debut episode until just before its launch, but they are compelled to cover the outcry and petition to cancel which is based only on the trailer.
Holland said that is a question/concern better suited for Netflix’s PR team. She also noted it was not a series that came out of “my group” and so he was “probably not equipped to fully speak about” it.
The dark comedy stars Debby Ryan as Patty, a high school student who has been bullied, ignored, and underestimated by those around her because of her weight. But life changes quickly after she has her jaw wired shut following a punch in the face, and finds herself suddenly thin. A trailer released earlier this week shows Patty with and without a fat suit to represent her sudden weight transformation that brings first-ever positive attention from her classmates. Patty then seeks to exact revenge on those who wronged her.
“For so long, the narrative has told women and young impressionable girls that in order to be popular, have friends, to be desirable for the male gaze, and to some extent be a worthy human…that we must be thin,” the petition reads. It accuses the series of perpetuating “not only the toxicity of diet culture, but the objectification of women’s bodies,” and calls for its cancellation.
Gussis released a statement Friday on social media, titled “This is my truth,” in which she reveals her own painful, personal experience and asks viewers to give the show a chance.
It reads: “When I was 13, I was suicidal. My best friends dumped me, and I wanted revenge. I thought if I looked pretty on the outside, I’d feel like I was enough. Instead, I developed an eating disorder…and the kind of rage that makes you want to do dark things.