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Netflix’s Insatiable sparks outrage by saying bisexual people ‘don’t exist’

Josh Jackman August 16, 2018

"Bisexuals are like demons or aliens. They don’t exist" (netflix/insatiable and twitter)

Fans have expressed outrage after an Insatiable character said bisexual people “don’t exist

Netflix has positioned itself as one of the best outlets for LGBT+ representation, with numerous queer storylines in – for instance – Orange is the New Black, Riverdale and the upcoming Super Drags.

It has also been a launchpad for queer figures like Hannah Gadsby and her incredible show Nanette – even if the streaming service did erase seasons 2-7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race earlier this year.

Debby Ryan on Insatiable (Netflix)

But its new programme Insatiable, which has been critically panned and slammed for alleged fat-shaming, seems to justify bi-erasure.

One scene in the show’s ninth episode features a conversation between Bob Armstrong and Bob Barnard after the two have kissed, and Barnard is trying to convince Armstrong to further explore his sexuality.

He says to Armstrong: “Tell yourself you’re bisexual. We all go through that phase.”

If there was any doubt about the message the scene was trying to convey, Armstrong tells him: “Bisexuals are like demons or aliens. They don’t exist.”

“Totally agree,” comes the firm response. “Bi is just a stop on the train to Gayville.

“Chugga-chugga choo-choo,” he adds flirtatiously.

Armstrong reacts to Barnard (Netflix)

Insatiable does eventually reveal that these comments from Armstrong are fuelled by internalised biphobia, as the character comes to terms with his sexuality and accepts that he’s bi.

But the remarks are still hurtful and damaging – and there doesn’t seem to be any excuse for bi-erasure perpetrated by Barnard, which continues after Armstrong comes out.

Fans were not happy with the pair’s dialogue (Netflix)

This has prompted a backlash from viewers, with one writing: “Can we just talk about all the bi-phobia in #Insatiable?

“Literally every time Bob says he is Bi every other character shoots him down and says he is just gay, how f**king gross. It’s not satire and it’s not funny.”

Another said: “fr tho if youre a fat lesbian/bi girl/boy do NOT watch insatiable bc you’ll be triggered by half the things they say.”

“Mmm yes thank you to the new series insatiable for showing me the truth about myself even tho I have been out as bi for 5 years now,” one person wrote.

A tweeter wrote: “So disappointed! I wanted to like #Insatiable! But the #biphobic comments are not funny!

“And demean a whole group of people which includes me. Bi/Pansexuals do in fact exist! Thanks @netflix!”

Another said that “tv shows like insatiable are huge reasons why people in the lgbtq+ community struggle to accept themselves/come out.

“For a show to say that bi people don’t exist is just really insensitive. obviously that’s not the only problem with the show but this pissed me off a lot.”

“Finished watching insatiable a few days ago,” wrote another viewer.

“It’s a F**KED up show . And oftentimes of was v offensive towards bi and/ or gay people . Would not recommend.”

More: bi, bierasure, bisexual, debby ryan, entertainment, insatiable, netflix, sexuality, Television, US, US

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