Lauren Gussis, the creator of the controversial Netflix series Insatiable, has hit out at her critics in a new interview, saying that the backlash to the show and the campaign to have it pulled from streaming borders on censorship.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Insatiable tells the story of an overweight, bullied high school girl who becomes thin after an injury forces her to get her jaw wired shut, then hatches a scheme to take revenge on her tormentors.
Before the show had even debuted, 200,000 people signed a Change.Org petition urging Netflix to cancel it, on the basis that it would trigger eating disorders and perpetuate fat-shaming and objectification of women’s bodies. “Let’s stop this, and protect further damage,” it said.
Critics have been brutal to the show since it dropped this month – it has been pulled up for the “idiocy” of its takes on mental health and eating disorders, with The Daily Beast‘s Kevin Fallon calling it “a harsh example of the best intentions yielding the worst results.”
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Gussis defended the show and its themes, saying that she has struggled with “every single one” of the issues depicted on screen, and that she intended to “spark conversation through comedy and satire.”
When questioned about the “hurtful” language used by many of the characters in the show, she said:
“That’s the reality of what still happens. There’s a lot of people in this country who are evolved. But I know that my experience was that there are still people in the world who think that stuff is OK. To portray those people who actually exist in the world, is real. I think we’re in a real danger of censorship if we decide that we all have to tell stories in a certain way so that everybody else feels safe.”
“In my own experience, growth comes from discomfort and pain. It’s present in nature. Like a snake shedding its skin, it’s literally tearing itself from its old self, to emerge in a different way. That is not comfortable. If hearing these things are uncomfortable, I get it. They’re sensitive. The wound is deep, but I don’t think the solution is silencing myself or somebody else.”