LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The cast of “Insatiable” defended their new television show against accusations of fat-shaming, but unusually harsh reviews suggest the U.S. series has more to worry about than the debate around weight and popularity.
The Netflix series, billed as a dark revenge comedy, is about a downtrodden, obese high schooler, Patty the Fatty, who suddenly loses weight, gains popularity and sets out for payback.
An online petition ahead of its release on Friday had called for the show to be canceled, claiming it appeared to promote the narrative that women had to be thin in order to be successful and happy, and that the show would encourage eating disorders.
Creator Lauren Gussis said the trailer “did exactly what it needed to do by starting a conversation around the issues.”
“There’s a long history of satire bringing to the forefront issues that need to be aired out and as a way to get to truths that are uncomfortable, and so I’m hoping that that’s what we’re doing,” Gussis told Reuters Television at the red carpet premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Actress Alyssa Milano said she welcomed the debate.
“I think actually it’s good to have an opinion, and I think that people are going to continue to have an opinion as they get further and further into watching the show,” she said.
However, the show has been slammed by television critics and has only a 10 percent positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
The Hollywood Reporter called it “trite,” “unfunny,” and “a bloated mess,” while Vulture.com called it “an equal opportunity trainwreck” replete with bad jokes about rape and pedophilia, and offensive stereotypes of African-Americans, Christians, Southerners and gay people.
Reporting by Rollo Ross for Reuters Television, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien