Alyssa Milano defends new Netflix show 'Insatiable' after fat-shaming backlash

Netflix released the trailer for its new series Insatiable on Thursday, and the dark comedy was met with swift backlash for its “fat shaming” premise.

Disney alum Debby Ryan stars as “fatty Patty,” an overweight high-school student who gets her jaw wired shut and loses weight. “Now that she finds herself suddenly thin, Patty is out for payback against anyone who has ever made her feel bad about herself,” a synopsis reads.

Debby Ryan in <em>Insatiable</em>. (Photos: Netflix)
Debby Ryan in Insatiable. (Photos: Netflix)

Alyssa Milano, who plays Patty’s mom, has been called a hypocrite on Twitter for starring in the “disgusting” show when she’s a big advocate for the women’s movement. The actress responded to one disappointed fan, writing, “We are not shaming Patty.”

Alyssa Milano in <em>Insatiable</em>. (Photo: Eliza Morse/Netflix)
Alyssa Milano in Insatiable. (Photo: Eliza Morse/Netflix)

Ryan — who wears a fat suit for the overweight scenes — hasn’t addressed the controversy directly, but she retweeted the same Teen Vogue article, which says the comedy is “taking aim at teenage bullying, society’s warped beauty standards, and the monsters that live inside all of us.”

There is plenty to take issue with in the two-minute teaser.

“Having my jaw wired shut lost me more than just my summer vacation,” Patty says. “Now, I could be the former fatty who turned into a brain. Or an athlete. Or a princess. No. I’d rather have revenge.” In another scene, Ryan struts through a park in a red bikini under a sign that reads, “Benefiting Northern Georgia Eating Disorder Recovery Clinic.”

The response has been overwhelmingly negative since the trailer’s release.

“What in the absolute f*** is this. Honestly, did anyone who worked on this show talk to a fat person? Like ever? This pushes disordered eating AND the fact that you have to lose weight to be “better”. Shame on everyone who was involved with this project,” one user directed to Ryan and the Insatiable Twitter handle.

The show has been dubbed “toxic,” with many pointing out that this was a big opportunity missed by Netflix.

Netflix is no stranger to controversy when it comes to the shows they market to teens. Many have argued that 13 Reasons Why, which was just renewed for a third season, glorifies suicide. Insatiable is set to drop 12 episodes on Aug. 10. Netflix has yet to address the backlash.

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