Why Is There A Petition For Netflix To Not Release Its New Show?

Recently, there has been a small media storm, mostly on Instagram, for Netflix to not to release its new show Insatiable. This petition was started by Florence Given, she writes about how this show explores how women need to be the object of the male gaze. The show uses weight-loss as a catalyst for revenge and is aimed at impressionable young women.

The show was released on the 10th August of this year

And is currently on the Netflix homepage under both ‘top picks’ and ‘popular on Netflix’. Despite this, this petition to cancel the show, which has had over 230,000 signatures, Netflix has not commented on the situation. This series is now being linked to Dana Suchow’s body positivity project #mybodystory, this is a platform that allows people to talk about their own stories.

In this year, we have taken huge leaps in female empowerment.

We have had the ‘Me Too’ and ‘Times Up’ movements and a myriad of body positivity instagrammers and writers exploring what it means and what it takes to love yourself and be yourself. This TV show sets back the work of these movements by exploring aged-old themes about how women need to be slim to be beautiful and loved. It is, of course, a complete falsity that you will only be popular and well liked if you are slim. But by televising shows like these, because this is a bigger issue beyond just Insatiable, the production companies are creating inferiority complexes for many people. This is through creating ideas that being ‘fat’ is something to be ashamed of, that someone’s weight defines their worth, of course these ideas are not true.

If we look at the issues of this programme from a gender perspective, we see what is seen in almost expected in modern fat shaming culture – that it is focused on young women. That young women are the targets of this kind of shaming abuse. This is evident from other characters in shows such as ‘Fat Monica’ on Friends and ‘Fat Betty Draper’ on Mad Men. This theme of using a woman being a smaller weight to increase her personal worth is a tired storyline that is still being used in television today.

Since the show has been released, we also see how the show mocks sexuality, race and other prominent social issues.

The creator of the show, Lauren Gussis, has previously said that the show is related experiences from her own life, and how by creating a comedy show they are trying to explore these difficult social issues.

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Despite all of this, there have been some tweets where people have argued that it is a ‘perfectly fine dark comedy’ (twitter user @milegend). This comes from the idea that although the trailer does show some very absurd and nasty fat shaming, the show itself is more of a satire on today’s culture. That it uses these issues to highlight how these issues are prevalent in today’s society and need addressing.

This is a very difficult subject to address but is something that is becoming more and more of an issue in today’s television.

Production companies, including Netflix, are making more of an effort to try and make television more inclusive, they’re creating characters which span more nationalities, explore different sexualities and gender roles, and including more actors with disabilities to play characters. Despite this, these production companies still seem to have an issue with using fat shaming as a form of comedy.

If you have any comments about the show or any ideas discussed in this article about netflix please let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shardayyy/7417451300
Hana Kelly

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