Alyssa Milano is defending her new show “Insatiable”.
The upcoming Netflix original series follows Patty, played by Debby Ryan, a high school student who lost a lot of weight and sought revenge on the classmates who previously mocked her for her size.
The trailer for “Insatiable” dropped Thursday and backlash immediately followed. A petition called for Netflix to cancel the show, with more than 11,000 signatures as of Friday afternoon.
The petition states: “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… [“Insatiable”] will cause eating disorders, and perpetuate the further objectification of women’s bodies. Let’s stop this from happening.”
“Really… so she wasn’t able to take revenge until she was ‘conventionally attractive?'” a Twitter user wrote to Milano, after she shared a link to the trailer. “This is disgusting! You are the face of the Women’s Movement and THIS? Shame on you!”
“We are not shaming Patty,” Milano tweeted in response. “We are addressing (through comedy) the damage that occurs from fat shaming. I hope that clears it up.”
In a separate statement from Ryan, published on Instagram, the actress insisted “we’re not in the business of fat shaming.”
“As someone who cares deeply about the way our bodies, especially women’s, are shamed and policed in society, I was so excited to work on ‘Insatiable’ because it’s a show that addresses and confronts those ideas through satire,” she wrote. “Satire is a way to poke fun at the hardest things, bring darkness into the light, and enter difficult conversations.”
“Twelve years into my own struggles with body image, struggles that took me in and out of terrible places I never want to go again, things I choose every day to leave behind,” she said of her own experiences. “I was drawn to this show’s willingness to go to real places about how difficult and scary it can be to move through the world in a body, whether you’re being praised or criticized for its size, and what it feels like to pray to be ignored because it’s easier than being seen.”
Insisting, “we’re not in the business of fat shaming. We’re out to turn a sharp eye on broken, harmful systems that equate thinness with worth.”
Ryan asked fans to watch the show, instead of basing their opinion on one trailer: “I hope fans will wait and watch the show before passing judgment. If you go for this ride, I think you’ll recognize both yourself and the things that make you mad about our fractured and beauty-obsessed culture.”
Read her entire statement below.
“Insatiable” hits Netflix August 10.