When the trailer debuted last month, it stirred controversy for its portrayal of anorexia — and trigger potential — on social media. Coincidentally, the reaction followed the mixed reception of 13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series that includes a graphic — and arguably glamorized — portrayal of suicide.
Yet both Noxon and Collins, who attended Anorexics Anonymous group meetings and consulted with multiple medical professionals and organizations like Project Heal before shooting began, assert that they set out to create a responsible portrayal of the disease.
“The two-minute-and-thirty-second trailer doesn’t show the entire scope of the movie,” says Collins. “Having experienced this subject matter and gone through the disorder, we would never seek out to make a movie that fetishizes or encourages or glamorizes the disorder in any way, shape or form. I’m proud to be part of a film that brings this conversation to light, and I hope that when people finally see it the way it was meant to be seen — in its entirety — they can understand where our intentions came from. But if you feel like this movie may be, for you, a form of trigger, maybe it’s something that only you know you shouldn’t watch.”
“Even though [13 Reasons Why and To The Bone] are totally different projects in tone and subject matter, [that show] raised awareness about how to talk about stuff,” adds Noxon, whose script addresses the topic of trigger. “There’s this culture where now, anyone can find anything they want to look at, and use any image or piece of art as a justification for things they’d be doing anyway, or find something disturbing and provocative in a way that’s not good for them. But that doesn’t mean the art itself is dangerous or that we shouldn’t make art. This question of free speech is so important right now, but the point is, it’s free and not enforced. It’s up to people to decide what they consume.”