Netflix’s upcoming dark comedy series Insatiable immediately drew controversy over the portrayal of its protagonist, which many criticized as a form of fat-shaming. Although the show has been receiving consistent heat for its treatment of overweight people since its trailer dropped last week, this controversy has finally come to a head with the emergence of a Change.org petition calling for the show’s cancellation in advance of its August 10th premiere date – a petition that’s already reached almost 150,000 signatures.
Insatiable tells the story of an obese high school student, constantly mocked for her weight, who after a mugging is given a chance for revenge due to having to spend a summer with her jaw wired shut leading to her dropping the pounds and gaining confidence.
Body image activist Amanda Levitt concisely explained the problematic nature of the show’s treatment of body issues, putting forth that the plot of the series is “not showing a fat character as a full human being but turning them into a caricature who only has value once they lose weight.” Levitt warns that “As someone who studies fat stigma I can unequivocally say that this series will do serious damage to the lives of fat teenagers who may watch the show.”
The stars and creators of Insatiable have defended the series as a satire borne from their own body issues and eating disorders, though despite being well-intentioned in their message, the manner of expressing these ideals doesn’t seem to have gone over too well with the 150,00 signees of the petition, which is calling upon people to help “stop this series from being released, and causing a devastation of self-doubt in the minds of young girls who will think that to be happy and be worthy, they need to lose weight.”
While Netflix has yet to comment on the controversy, several people have been sounding off on Twitter over the series.
— Lauren Gussis (@GussisLauren) July 21, 2018
my issues on insatiable: a thread
— jules!!! (@JUMPSUlTZ) July 21, 2018
I wrote this for @BritishVogue on Insatiable, the lasting damage that fatphobic media does to you, the physical experience of watching a body like yours being mined for gross-out laughs, and the fact we deserve so much better ❤️https://t.co/0GUVpiazUc pic.twitter.com/tsMIJhn0LC
— Bert (@bethanyrutter) July 24, 2018
— Olivia DeWinter (@OliviaDewinter) July 22, 2018
Including best-selling author Roxanne Gay
Ahhh yes, a fat girl could never stand up for herself while fat and of course she has to be assaulted and have her mouth wired shut before she becomes her best self, her skinny self. Good to know!
— roxane gay (@rgay) July 22, 2018
While the status of Insatiable remains yet to be seen, all we know is that we’re itching to see Sierra Burgess is a Loser.
instead of giving our attention to insatiable, let’s all focus on the upcoming netflix film sierra burgess is a loser, a rom com starring a plus size girl that never even addresses the fact that she’s plus size and instead gives her an interesting storyline and romance pic.twitter.com/fWLH3JYUba
— mean lady (@bibatgirl) July 23, 2018