Outlander exec says "aggressive" shipping from some fans "takes a step over into harassment"

When Outlander‘s Caitriona Balfe announced her engagement to Tony McGill and not her on-screen husband Sam Heughan earlier this year, many of the drama’s fans were gutted.

(Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a real-life co-star romance?)

But while fans’ passion for both the characters and series is a huge part of Outlander‘s continued success, one of the show’s executives is a little concerned by some viewers’ enthusiasm.

Co-president of Outlander‘s producer Sony TV, Chris Parnell, recently told Entertainment Weekly that he wants the series’ fanbase to be “non-obtrusive” and “healthy”.

“I understand where an intense, passionate fanbase comes from. The key for me, is whether it’s healthy and in a way that is non-obtrusive to our crew and cast,” he explained.

Keen not to dissuade fans from living in a “fantasy” shipping world, Parnell insisted he was not going to make “a blanket statement about people who ship”.

“Everyone has to be able to express their love and passion of the show in their own way… a lot of people who [ship], live in a fun kind of fantasy world. Go on with your bad self!”

Parnell continued: “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.”

Meanwhile, where those shipping Caitriona and Sam in real life are disappointed, fans of Claire and Jamie Fraser may be too, because the couple are set to have a hard time of it when Outlander returns for a fourth season.

In a recent trailer, we see Claire and Jamie move to a new land in an attempt to fulfil the American dream, but it soon transpires that things won’t be easy for the time-crossed lovers…

Outlander airs on Starz in the US and on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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