Bridgerton Star Ruby Barker has spoken out against Netflix and Shondaland, the Shonda Rhimes-led production company behind the show, for failing to provide her with support following two “psychotic outbursts.”
Barker – who played Marina, a woman rejected by Regency-era London society because of a scandalous pregnancy – spoke about her experiences in an Oxford University interview LOAF Podcast over the weekend. The actress shared that her first psychotic breakdown occurred after Season 1 of Bridgerton The series was completed in 2019, the second took place in 2022. She said she received “no support” from Netflix during this time.
“Not a single person from Netflix, not a single person from Shondaland has contacted me or emailed me since I had two psychotic breaks on this show to ask if I was OK or if I would benefit from any follow-up care or support,” Barker, 26, said. “No one.”
In May 2022, Barker took part in one Instagram post that she “felt very poorly for a long time” and that she “had problems ever since.” Bridgerton.”
“I’m in the hospital at the moment and will be released soon and hopefully get on with my life,” Barker told her followers at the time. “I was full of anger, angry, all this intergenerational trauma concentrated inside me. I carried the weight of the world on my back and now I’m at the point where I have a diagnosis.”
In that Instagram post, Barker also thanked Netflix for “saving” her by giving her the role Bridgerton. However, speaking on the LOAF podcast, Barker said she was troubled by her sudden rise to fame caused by the hit show, which had made her promotional duties more difficult: “It’s almost like I have this metaphorical invisible weapon on mine head to sell this show because of it. “The show is bubbly and fun.”
The work itself was also challenging, Barker said, explaining that the turmoil and isolation suffered by her character Marina took a drastic toll on her mental health.
“During filming, my condition worsened,” she said. “It was a really torturous place for me because my character was very alienated, very marginalized and on his own in these terrible circumstances.”
At BridgertonBarker’s character is a small town newbie in high society Shame, i.e from her wealthy cousins because of her pregnancy, which was the result of a secret love affair. Marina is pressured to marry quickly to hide the secret, and in the resulting tragic conflict, she is ultimately outed in the series’ central gossip column. She attempts an abortion, which fails, before agreeing to marry her now-deceased lover’s brother out of a loveless sense of duty.
“When I went to the hospital a week after the shooting Bridgerton “Season 1 was really hushed up and kept secret because the show was supposed to come out,” Barker said on the podcast about her first psychotic break.
She continued: “In the lead up to the show’s release, I just got out of the hospital, my Instagram followers were growing, I had all these commitments to attend to… my life changed drastically overnight and yet it happened. Still no support and there was still no support the whole time. So I really tried to act like everything was fine, I could work and it wasn’t a problem.”
The Daily Beast has reached out to Netflix and Shondaland for comment.