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Last week, Outlander star Sam Heughan shocked many fans by coming forward in an emotional Twitter post to talk about the bullying and harassment he says he's been subjected to since first taking on the role of Jamie Fraser in the popular romantic drama. Without going into specifics, Heughan spoke about being stalked (even as he self-isolates in Hawaii right now) and the other abuses that have been brought against himself, as well as his friends, family and co-stars. Caitriona Balfe, who stars on Outlander alongside Heughan as Claire Fraser, quickly offered her public support.
Caitriona Balfe replied to Sam Heughan's tweet with her own about his claims, and detailed what she thinks would be a better use of time for the negative side of the Outlander fandom. Here's what she had to say:
Sad that Sam has had to come out and say all this. I would have thought mean bitchy behaviour would have been left in the school yard. But unfortunately a VERY SMALL but very vocal part of this fandom use their energy to write and say awful untrue things ... maybe they should harness all that energy to get involved in their local charities... And honestly it’s quite simple ... If you don’t like us .. it’s a big beautiful world out there. Find something you do love and enjoy that. Life as it’s all too clear right now is short. Why waste it hating.
Caitriona Balfe really makes a very good point when she says that we all should know, especially by now, that life is just too short to spend real time and energy on hating something or someone. It's fine to offer constructive criticism, but it's pretty clear that none of the things Sam Heughan alleges are happening to him are anywhere close to a thing as reasonable as that.
It's no secret by now that being famous in general, or (more specifically) being a part of a beloved franchise will guarantee actors / writers / directors / etc. the respect of those who consider themselves to be a part of those fandoms. But, I have to say, I was very surprised to hear about Sam Heughan's treatment over the last several years.
Outlander is based on a series of novels by author Diana Gabaldon with the first book being released in 1991. She's completed eight books with a ninth on the way, so it's obvious that the people who love these stories are very dedicated to them and to their own vision of how they should be adapted. But, as Caitriona Balfe said in her post, that doesn't give anyone the right to harass those involved with the TV show. You can see her post, along with Heughan's, below:
I watch a lot of television shows, and while I'm pretty open-minded about the content, I've seen plenty of stuff that I either don't get or find is an actual waste of time. So, I can tell you from first-hand experience just how easy it is to not go after the creatives involved with personal attacks when one strongly dislikes something one has seen on screen. As Caitriona Balfe noted, it's a much more pleasant thing to simply drop what you don't enjoy and use that time on something that makes you happy. So, hopefully, getting called out by Sam Heughan will put a stop to this soon.