Many viewers of Netflix's series "Insatiable" have called for its cancellation amid accusations of fat shaming, but a conservative group is also shedding light on its constant attacks on the Christian faith.
Aimed at a teenage audience, the 12-part first season has been criticized by the Media Research Center's News Busters for promoting "all kinds of sexual and gender identity exploration among minors and adults alike, to liberal issues like abortion."
Rated TV-MA to be "viewed by adults and unsuitable for children under 17," the series is about a formerly overweight teenage girl name Patty Bladell (former Disney star Debby Ryan) who takes revenge on the students who once bullied her. After losing 70 pounds, the now skinny Patty enters the Miss Magic Jesus Pageant in which the winner dons a "crown of thorns."
In the series, Patty is unknowingly filmed engaging in sex acts with her pastor's teenage son inside a Noah's Ark on the children's playground. Thinking she's pregnant, Pastor Mike (comedian Michael Ian Black) calls Patty and her father into his office for a meeting where he breaks the news that he cannot have an "unwed, pregnant teenager" representing Miss Magic Jesus, so he must strip her of her crown. Patty's response is to assure her pastor not to worry because she's decided to have an abortion.
Several LGBT storylines are also prominent in the series, including a transgender student and Patty's best friend Nonnie (Kimmy Shields) who discovers that she has an obsessive crush on Patty and eventually kisses her. Nonnie later kisses a boy, too, but decides to start a lesbian relationship with a contestant in the Miss Magic Jesus Pageant who hit on her in the girls' bathroom.
After watching her girlfriend's lyric performance in the pageant, Nonnie enthusiastically tells her father (who's seated next to her in the audience), "That's my girlfriend." He replies with an approving smile and fatherly hug around her shoulder. The sexual references to Jesus and the Holy Spirit in that episode were described by News Busters as "the most offensive scene of the entire show."
The chorus as cited by News Busters:
We'll journey together, your hand on my heart. Whatever the weather, a love so strong. So long. So hard. O, Jesus, You fill me in every single way. Sweet, sweet Jesus inside me, I got You deep in my soul. Deep, deep, deep in my soul. Yeah! Oh, Spirit, please ride me. Please, please, please, please ride me. Deep, deep, deep in my soul.
Sweet, sweet Jesus inside me, I got You deep in my soul. Deep, deep, deep in my soul. Yeah! Oh, Spirit, please ride me. Please, please, please, please ride me. Deep, deep, deep in my Hoooool...ly Father. I think I love You.
"Asking the Holy Spirit to 'please ride me...deep, deep, deep in my Hooool...ly Father' while making sexual motions and gyrations. ... What is that even supposed to mean, other than the obvious sexual innuendo?" News Busters continues. ... "And having young, teenage girls pleading with Jesus and the Holy Spirit to have sex with them is definitely shocking and completely disgusting."
Over 234,000 people have signed onto a Change.org petition urging Netflix to cancel the series because it "perpetuates not only the toxicity of diet culture, but the objectification of women's bodies." The petition's author recently posted an update saying, "Turns out fat-shaming wasn't the only problem with this show," accusing the series of also making "jokes about sexuality, race, and molestation."
The show's creator Lauren Gussis told the Chicago Tribune in an interview that she drew upon her own experiences of being bullied in school and issues with overeating and body image for the series and was surprised by the backlash.
"The show is so much about wanting things to be different, and then the second they are different, then you want them to be different again. So I think for me, part of my work spiritually is loving what is," Gussis told the Chicago Tribune. "I choose to love it exactly as the way it is because it's brought me to this place on this day, which is exactly where I need to be."