'Insatiable' Star Debby Ryan Defends Show’s Use of Fatsuit

Debby Ryan is coming to the defense of Netflix's controversial new original series Insatiable and its use of a fatsuit.

Jessie alum Debby Ryan's latest role as "Fatty Patty" on Netflix's new dark-comedy series Insatiable has drawn criticism long before its weekend debut on the streaming platform. With its storyline based on the premise that being skinny cures "Fatty Patty's" problems and allows her to set out on her vendetta of revenge, Ryan dons a fat suit for the role, an option that was immediately met with backlash when the trailer was first released.

Speaking with Teen Vogue, Ryan admitted that she was worried that "it would almost be done in parody like in Friends," in which Courtney Cox wore a fatsuit several times to depict a high school Monica slathering her food with various condiments in a means to be humorous. In an effort to prevent that, she and showrunner Lauren Gussis discussed the matter.

"There was a point where [the showrunner] and I are like, 'If at any point this is funny, if at any point people laugh, we're not doing it.' We're not doing the show that we're trying to do. We're just trying to portray an origin story. We're trying to showcase that," Ryan said.

Ryan added that the series — which many fans and critics have dubbed a revenge fantasy that clings to the idea that being skinny is the only way to achieve what you've always dreamed of — contains a crucial central message that isn't often talked about.

"We knew that this conversation needed to be had. We knew that this societal brokenness needed to be addressed, but we didn't know how badly it needed to be addressed," Ryan said, adding in reference to the series' criticism "My friend, a few days before the trailer hit, in reference to something else, said, 'The size of the reaction is the size of the wound,' and it stayed with me."

Regardless of the series' intentions, both fans and critics have vocally exclaimed that the series does not hit the nail on the head. Vox dubbed Insatiable "one of the cruelest and most poorly crafted shows," while several viewers claimed that it "glorified eating disorders," attempted to "make them look glamorous," and made a "mockery of those with problems with self imagery."

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Although the series sparked so much backlash that a petition was created in an attempt to prevent its release, showrunner Lauren Gussis claimed that the series drew from her own experiences and was meant to serve as a "cautionary tale."