A petition calling on Netflix to cancel their upcoming dark comedy series Insatiable has attracted over 150,000 signatures on the grounds that the show encourages “fat shaming.”
The show follows the life of a highschooler named Patty (Debby Ryan,) who is bullied for being overweight. After losing the weight and instantly becoming more popular and attractive, she seeks to take vengeance on those who made her life a misery.
However, the series immediately attracted condemnation from body positivity campaigners, one of whom even set up a petition to demand its cancellation that has already garnered over 170,000 signatures.
“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.
“This series needs to be canceled,” it continues. “The damage control of releasing this series will be far worse, insidious and sinister for teenage girls, than it will be damaging for Netflix in their loss of profit… This series will cause eating disorders, and perpetuate the further objectification of women’s bodies. The trailer has already triggered people with eating disorders. Let’s stop this, and protect further damage.”
In response to the outrage, Debby Ryan outlined her own struggles with her personal body image, arguing that the show explores “real places” about people’s experiences.
“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, 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,” she wrote.
— debbyryan (@DebbyRyan) July 21, 2018
It is not the first time that Netflix has attracted controversy for content within its show. In May, the streaming giant faced a major backlash for a scene in the teen drama 13 Reasons Why depicting a brutal sexual assault against a mentally unstable pupil. The show has also drawn criticism for supposedly inspiring teenage girls to commit suicide.
Netflix has so far declined to comment about this latest backlash.
Produced by CBS Television Studios and Ryan Seacrest Productions, Insatiable is set to launch August 10th.