Outlander exec says 'aggressive' shipping is 'not healthy for our cast'
At the Golden Globes last January, Caitriona Balfe caused a stir among Outlander fans by walking the red carpet with a shiny new bauble — an engagement ring from her boyfriend of nearly two years, Tony McGill.
“It happened over the break,” Balfe told PEOPLE at the time. “I’m very happy.”
Up to that point, a small but very vocal contingent of shippers were convinced that Balfe and Sam Heughan were also an item off-camera — even going so far as accusing Starz and the producers of hiding the “real” truth from viewers. Will Balfe’s trip down the aisle finally quiet the chatter?
“I don’t know,” admits co-president Chris Parnell of Sony TV, which produces the drama for Starz. ”I understand where an intense, passionate fan base comes from. The key for me, is whether it’s healthy and in a way that is non-obtrusive to our crew and cast. Everyone has to be able to express their love and passion of the show in their own way.. So I’m not gonna make a blanket statement about people who ship, because I think a lot of people who do, live in a fun kind of fantasy world. Go on with your bad self! But if it comes a point when it is aggressive, or takes a step over into harassment, that’s where I feel like it’s not healthy for both the person doing it and certainly not healthy for our cast and crew.”