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People Want This Netflix Show About A Plus-Size Girl On A Journey For Revenge To Be Cancelled

“Harmful and toxic as fuck.”

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Netflix is facing some serious heat after sharing the trailer for its upcoming series Insatiable created by Lauren Gussis and starring Debby Ryan.

This story’s full of some crazy shit. @debbyryan is Insatiable. August 10. Only on Netflix.

Here's a quick synopsis: Patty Bladell (played by Debby Ryan, initially in a fat suit) is a plus-size high school teenager who is bullied because of her weight.

Netflix

One evening, Bladell gets punched in the face and, as a result, has to have her mouth wired shut for the duration of the summer holidays. It results in dramatic weight loss.

Netflix

Cue a slow-motion clip of a now-slim Bladell strutting into school on the first day to reveal her so-called revenge body.

Netflix

Bladell 2.0 is now on a path to exact revenge on every person who ever bullied her. Netflix have called it: “A Coming of Rage Story”.

Netflix

People have called the whole concept “toxic” and the backlash has resulted in a petition to stop the show’s scheduled release next month. Critics say it’s particularly dangerous for young and impressionable viewers.

Nineteen-year-old Florence Given, the woman behind the petition, is calling for the show to be scrapped altogether. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, she said:

“I started the petition almost immediately after one of my friends shared it on her Facebook. This show openly perpetuates not only the toxicity of diet culture, but the objectification of women's bodies, and that we must be thin to be desirable, receive validation and acceptance etc. It makes fatness look like something a woman must ‘overcome’ and this is an incredibly toxic message to be drilling into the minds of young, impressionable women.”

The petition has surpassed its original goal with over 4,000 signatures and continues to pick up support. In the description explaining the reasoning behind the petition, Givens writes:

“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.”

The series, described as a “dark comedy”, is receiving backlash for its storyline as well as the representation of plus-size people.

Netflix

Some people aren’t impressed at all.

@insatiable_ @DebbyRyan you have a chance to make creative, engaging, original content from fat people about fat people's lives and you choose to ... put a skinny person in a fat suit and make jokes about how sad her life is and about what a crazy bitch she turns into. That's so lazy and pathetic.

CW: weight loss, fatmisia/fatphobia, eating disorders Hi, hello, @netflix? FAT SUITS ARE NEVER OKAY. Selling a weight loss revenge story to teens who are already at high risk for eating disorders is NOT OKAY. This is gross and I’m mad as hell. https://t.co/Zd8cP7hHi1

@insatiable_ @DebbyRyan give us a story line where a fat girl stays fat, learns to accept her body, fucks all societal standards of beauty, and fucking slaysss. Tired of the "fat girl loses weight and becomes hot" trope. it's old. do something new.

I would say I can’t believe Netflix is going to promote and distribute @insatiable_ where the star wears a fat suit and is hated and then has her jaw wired shut and loses weight and becomes popular, but after 13RW I can 100% believe that it’s some stupid shit they would do.

@insatiable_ @DebbyRyan So this is a story about a girl who used to be fat and now she isn't, she can finally have revenge? I don't know. Maybe a story where she loves her fatness would have been better. Rather than her literally having her jaw wired shut so that she cannot eat to lose weight.

Can we get a show where a fat character gets Revenge on everyone who’s shitty to them while still being fat, and is recognized as badass and funny and super hot, because that would be something actually fresh and cool and not the lukewarm watery oatmeal that is Insatiable

yeah, don't watch the utter bs that @insatiable_ is gonna turn out to be. anything that starts with a thin actress in a fat suit who loses weight and becomes desirable in HS is toxic love, a "fatty" with a brain https://t.co/JB3sJYWcF3

This new Netflix bullshit, Insatiable, can 10000% fuck off. Is it trying to ride the ~body posi~ wave? Does it think it’s radical? Or does it know it’s bullshit and doesn’t care?

There are criticisms over how plus-size people are characterised.

@insatiable_ @DebbyRyan What in the absolute fuck 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.

fat girls are not your before. fat girls are not your torture porn. fat girls are so much more than whatever the fuck this bullshit is @netflix @insatiable_

hi @netflix @insatiable_ @DebbyRyan, i need some help! im fat& seem to have all this delusional self-worth even tho ive never had my jaw wired shut or been totally deprived of my ability to eat! sooo bizarre. would love ur thoughts

Most of all, there is concern over the message the series is communicating to younger viewers.

I’m SO PLEASED @NetflixUK has created yet another show about how going from fat > thin makes you ‘insatiable’ - because before that she was v undesirable so THANK GOD she had an accident + got thin. So great. Especially as the show is aimed at teenagers. Great job Netflix! https://t.co/3L79mOHcL6

@insatiable_ There r going to be so many young teenagers w/ no support watching this who will starve themselves, thinking that they deserve to be preyed on & isolated because of their weight because they dont look like everyone else! Promoting this ideal in 2018 is so dsgusting

@insatiable_ @DebbyRyan Maybe it’s just me but uh cool she got skinny because she had her mouth sowed shut.... so you’re promoting teenagers to starve themselves and by doing so they’ll be gorgeous human beings... sorry to be a savvy downer but like am I the only one to think this?

tw ? no offense but literally no one’s mad about insatiable just because debby’s in it we’re mad because its harmful and toxic as fuck

PSA to @reedhastings, et al: If you do not cancel @insatiable_ and cease promotion of it immediately, you will inspire thousands of young people to adopt eating disorders. Please do the right thing and fix your mistake.

i love debby ryan so much but her new show “insatiable” is so toxic

seeing the trailer for insatiable or whatever the fuck it's called pissed me off so much. it's 20 fucking 18. you're doing shit like this when you know there are so many young kids who are struggling with their appearance and self confidence. all that show is gonna do is make-

The star of the show, Debby Ryan, hasn't directly responded to the wave of criticism, but appeared to defend her latest project by highlighting an article in Teen Vogue.

The Teen Vogue article explains the creator’s vision for the show and her personal experience with fat shaming and bullying. An excerpt reads:

“Lauren Gussis (whose past work includes the very dark favorite Dexter) wrote and executive produced the show; the story of Insatiable is based off [her] own experiences growing up. She calls Patty essentially the demon of her ‘inner formerly bullied teenager’.”

The article mentions both Gussis and Ryan attempting to tackle the story through “dark” comedy.

“From the get-go, Debby and Lauren aimed to use satire to address the painful issues within Patty’s story. Their goal for Insatiable is to “push the bar forward.” During the audition, Debby and Lauren ended up crying talking about how protective they were of Patty’s story and representing the character’s story fairly, and through the lens of dark comedy.”

Netflix declined to comment.

Ade Onibada is a junior reporter at BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Ade Onibada at ade.onibada@buzzfeed.com.

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