Debby Ryan Defends Netflix Show Insatiable After Fat-Shaming Backlash
The new Netflix series, Insatiable, is about a plus-size high school student, played by Debby Ryan, named Patty who is bullied about her weight. The girl gets punched in the face and is forced to spend the summer with her jaw wired shut, which ultimately causes her to lose weight and go back to school in the fall looking conventionally attractive to the people who once bullied her. But instead of becoming their friends like they want, she decides to get revenge.
As you can probably tell, many people view this plot as being extremely problematic, but the Disney Channel alum doesn’t necessarily agree with all the fat-shaming backlash and released a lengthy statement defending the series, which premieres on August 10th.
“As someone who cares deeply about the way our bodies, especially women’s, are shamed and policed in society, I was so excited to work on Insatiable because it’s a show that addresses and confronts those ideas through satire,” the 25-year-old begins. “Satire is a way to poke fun at the hardest things, bring darkness into the light, and enter difficult conversations.”
The former Jessie star then went on to talk about her own body image issues and how she appreciates how real Patty’s struggles are.
She continues, “It was very important to Lauren Gussis, our writer and showrunner from whose brain and heart and life the character of Patty was born, as well as to me, that any scenes where Patty was heavier don’t use her size as a punchline, and never justify the abuse she suffers. The humor is not in the fat-shaming (or thin-shaming, slut-shaming, virgin-shaming, ‘glam-shaming,’ for fans of Arie’s season of The Bachelor…). The redemption is in identifying the bullies and saying ‘this is not okay.'”
Debby explains that the Netflix series is “not in the business of fat shaming,” but actually wants to “turn a sharp eye on broken, harmful systems that equate thinness with worth.”
Ultimately, the actress says, fans will not be disappointed if they watch the series without any predetermined judgements. Are you planning on giving it a shot?