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Netflix show Insatiable criticised for suggesting ‘bisexuals don’t exist’

2:41 pm, 17th August 2018

In one scene, Bob Armstong, a character who is coming to terms with his bisexuality, said: “Bisexuals are like demons or aliens. They don’t exist.”

Another character agreed and added: “Bi is just a stop on the train to Gayville”.

As the story unfolded, Armstrong was repeatedly told he was not bisexual and must be gay.

Eventually, he came to terms with his bisexuality and the comments were revealed as internalised biphobia.

But some social media users have claimed the show contributes to ‘bi-erasure’ – a term used to describe an attempt to deny bisexual people exist.

One viewer wrote on Twitter: “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 p****d me off a lot.”

Another said: “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!#LGBTQ+.”

Twitter user @AleriaT said: “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****** gross.

“It’s not satire and it’s not funny.”

Bisexual campaigner Lewis Oakley told Sky News: “The show featured slurs which demean us and constantly force us to defend our sexuality.

“If people saw this episode and recognised they were guilty of saying similar comments to bisexual people then perhaps that’s a step towards tackling biphobia.

“But if this character does turn out to be gay and used bisexuality as a phase then this is a terrible example for people to see.”

Kim Sanders, head of media engagement at Stonewall, told Sky News: “Bi people are often the forgotten part of the LGBT acronym and can face abuse from not only straight people, but also from lesbian and gay people.

“30% of bi men feel they cannot be open about their sexuality.”

The show was also slammed by critics this week for alleged “fat-shaming” after its treatment of its female protagonist’s battle with obesity.

More than 232,000 signed a petition to cancel the show’s release based on the trailer alone.

It currently has an 11% approval score on the Rotten Tomatoes review website.

Sky News has contacted Netflix for comment.