The film follows Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser), a smart yet reasonably uncool high schooler who is constantly harassed by the stereotypically nasty cheerleader, Veronica (Kristine Froseth). However, when Burgess receives a text from the most sought-after boy in school, who mistakes her number for Veronica's, she does not fess up, rather begins messaging him which in turn eventually leads to her catfishing him.
While thousands of fans have admitted to not only loving the film but also relating to it on a deeper and more personal level, online website Care2 has set up an online petition to have the movie pulled from the popular streaming site due to "transphobic jokes, mockery of deaf people, nonconsensual kissing, slut-shaming and an ending that makes it seem like the whole charade was totally fine."
So far, 3,231 people have signed the petition, with their goal being to have 10, 00 signatures.
Despite dozens of glowing reviews, the director of the film, Ian Samuels has spoken out about the controversy, stating:
“That’s the reality of what still happens. There’s a lot of people in this country who are evolved. But I know that my experience was that there are still people in the world who think that stuff is OK. To portray those people who actually exist in the world is real. I think we’re in a real danger of censorship if we decide that we all have to tell stories in a certain way so that everybody else feels safe.”
Shannon Purser has also hit back at critics, echoing a similar sentiment.
"I understand the film is controversial, for sure," she admits. "I think that if we were looking at it through the lens of a romantic comedy that I would be more upset."