‘Outlander’ Stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe Have Had Enough of Social Media Bullying

Outlander star Sam Heughan took to Twitter to express his outrage at people bullying and shaming both him and his co-star, Caitriona Balfe for years now. In a four-page post, Heughan wrote that he’s kept quiet about it long enough, but was fed up with people attacking them and their loved ones due to characters they play.

Balfe and Heughan have portrayed Claire and Jamie Fraser on the hit Starz show Outlander for years now and some “fans” can’t separate fact and fiction — and insist the actors should be together in real life. Some have even made negative comments about Balfe’s real-life spouse and Heughan’s past romantic partners.

Heughan’s post was sparked by an unfortunate exchange that happened during Balfe’s #AskCait Twitter Q&A on Wednesday. In the original, now-deleted tweet, a “fan” bullied Caitriona by asking why she doesn’t “support Sam” since she claims they “have each other’s backs.” Balfe and Heughan for years have been very supportive of each other.

Co-star Steven Cree, who plays Ian on Outlander, swiftly came to her and Sam’s defense with a strong message on Twitter. “I’m only giving this any air because as an observer, the consistent harassment & cyber-bullying of Sam, & in this instance, Caitriona, is just utterly unacceptable & ridiculous. It needs to stop. If there was ever a time to get perspective for all who partake in this, it’s now.”

The next day, Balfe thanked Steven Cree for his support with a tweet referencing a moment their characters shared in Season 1 of the hit show. “Raw cabbage as a snack. It’s come to this. In your honour @MrStevenCree.”

7/47 - Int Lallybroch - admiration of the potatoes, Jamie furious, Charles has forged his name
Steven Cree, Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, Courtesy of Starz

Heughan said that, due to legal reasons, he couldn’t say much more beyond what he’d written in the note, but that they had endured 6 years worth of “constant bullying, harassment… and false narratives” and that he had been accused of things that were simply not true. He said his co-star, friends, and family have been subjected to “personal slurs, shaming, abuse, death threats, stalking.” Recently, some people had criticized Sam for social isolating in Hawaii from COVID-19. He explained that when he originally went there he didn’t realize how bad the lockdown would get and that it was not safe for him to travel back to the UK at this point.

In his message, Heughan also thanked his supportive fans for their years of support and told anyone who had a problem with him to kindly unfollow. In response to Heughan’s emotional post, fans have been posting messages of support online with the hashtag #WeStandWithSam.

Balfe responded to Heughan’s tweet to show further support earlier today. Like her co-star, she emphasized people shouldn’t waste their energy on spreading hate. “If you don’t like us, it’s a big beautiful world out there. Find something you do love and enjoy. Life as it’s all too clear right now is short. Why waste it hating.”

To that, we say, tune in to Outlander, but also tune into reality! These are real people, with real lives, who are just really good at their jobs.

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