"We want you to laugh"
The team behind the controversial Netflix series Insatiable have defended it as satire.
Series creator Lauren Gussis has told Variety that the TV show is intended to make light of weight issues so as to spark serious debate.
The new teenager pageant dramedy caused a furore before it even launched on the streaming service.
But Gussis says the backlash hasn’t diminished Netflix’s confidence in the series.
“I talked to Netflix every single day and they never brought it up,” Gussis told Variety about potentially pulling the show before its air date.
“They were the most supportive and loving. The entire process they were very artist driven and understanding,” she said.
Gussis added: “They knew it was a satire and we discussed the issues going into it so that when the issues came up, we could poke the bear so people could talk about the them.”
Insatiable stars Debby Ryan as a bullied overweight teenager who loses weight after having her jaw wired shut following an injury.
The teenager becomes a high school beauty queen after losing weight and seeks revenge on those who bullied her.
Guiss also spoke at a premiere event for the show in Hollywood on Thursday (August 9), explaining that satire is used in the show to allow discussion over body-image shame and explore the underlying social politics of high school.
She said: “Being able to laugh means you’re in on the joke, which means you identify.
“That means people are going to be able to look at this and go, ‘I get that, and that means somebody else inherently gets me and I’m not alone, and I’m connected.'”
Ryan also reacted to the backlash, saying: “[Insatiable] really comes from a place of compassion and it was such an eye-opening experience for me learning about things I could have never known.”
Chris Gorham, who also stars in the series, encourages people to watch the show before passing judgement.
“It’s a comedy at the end of the day, we want you to laugh,” he said.
“As big and as outlandish as these characters can be and as foolish their choices can be, they’re all based on real things and they all have holes inside of them to fill.”