A Netflix executive is coming forward in defense of upcoming show "Insatiable," which has been accused of fat-shaming. Cindy Holland, vice president of original series at the streaming service, says people have prematurely judged the show from only watching the trailer.
At the Television Critics Association, Holland acknowledged to critics that "fat shaming is in the DNA of the show," but pointed out that the series is meant to be a satire, reports Deadline. "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," she said.
Holland also said that "ultimately, the message of the show is that what is most important is you feel most comfortable" with who you are. Critics complained to Holland that they have been prohibited from posting reviews of the debut episode until just before its launch; she told them to direct their complaints toward Netflix's PR team.
The trailer for "Insatiable" sparked an online furor after it showed star Debby Ryan in a fat suit. The teaser shows Patty, a high schooler who classmates call "Fatty Patty," played by actress Ryan. After Patty gets her jaw wired shut during the summer, she returns to school "hot." In a voiceover, Patty refers to herself as a "former fatty," and the teen is ready for payback against anyone who was mean to her.
On the show, disgraced attorney Bob Armstrong (played by Dallas Roberts) sees Patty's potential as a beauty queen and takes her under his wing as he coaches her for beauty pageants. Alyssa Milano plays his wife, Coralee.
Milano defended the show and said, "We are not shaming Patty. We are addressing (through comedy) the damage that occurs from fat shaming. I hope that clears it up."
Gussis, the creator of the show, tweeted a statement saying, "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." She said the show is a "cautionary tale."
"Insatiable" hits Netflix on Aug. 10.