Insatiable star Alyssa Milano is speaking out in response to backlash over the new show, which many people think fat-shames its lead character, played by Debby Ryan, and promotes the objectification of women's bodies.
In the dark comedy series, set to debut on Netflix on August 10, the latter star plays Patty, a high school girl who lost a lot of weight one summer and sets out to get revenge on the classmates who previously mocked her over her figure. After the trailer was released on Thursday, many took to social media to denounce the show.
"Really.....so she wasn't able to take revenge until she was 'conventionally attractive'?" Twitter user @thecursedempath wrote to Milano, after she shared a link to the video. "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 addition to the social media backlash, a petition calling on Netflix to cancel Insatiable was launched. More than 11,000 people have signed it, 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."
The series also stars Dallas Roberts as Bob Armstrong, a civil lawyer who wants to become a beauty pageant coach and who Patty hires to help her with her quest for revenge. Milano plays the attorney's socialite wife, Coralee.
Show creator Lauren Gussis based the series on her own experiences being bullied as a teen, Teen Vogue reported.
"This is my expression of my own process. My own pain. And so I would never mock myself in a way that wasn't loving," she told the magazine. "It's my way of sharing my own experience with the world. So it's not coming from an outsider's perspective pointing a finger, it's from inside."
"There is so much more to [the show,] and definitely trust that we're doing it and it's there," Ryan said, adding that it highlights "everything from the complicated mother-daughter relationships, dating in high school, finding yourself in sexuality, and different boundaries within relationships. And I think if you do take a second to get to know it, I think you'll realize that Patty's complicated, these people are complicated."