‘Outlander’ Author Responds After Starz Executive’s Comments On Female Viewership

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon is responding after controversial comments made about the TV series adaptation by Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch.

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Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter last week, Hirsch said, “‘Outlander’ — you can say that it’s great because women like it because she’s a surgeon who goes back in time, but there’s also another side of that, which is there’s some eye candy for that audience and people like when [Sam Heughan] has his shirt off. You have to be really thoughtful about when you’re looking at a piece of content and whether it’s really going to be female or not. And it’s not easy.”

Gabaldon took issue with the implication that women were watching “Outlander” to see Heughan shirtless.

“Well, I dunno, Jeffrey… At the moment, I’ve got 30+ million books in print, in 42 countries; I get a lot of mail. I can’t say I see a lot of people talking about Jamie with his shirt off, unless it’s mentioning the shock and poignancy of his scars,” she wrote in a tweet.

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“I do see a lot of people (male, female, straight, gay, you name it) who love the books and love the show—and what they like about the show is how much it reflects what’s in the books,” Gabaldon continued. “(Might be worth noting that when a woman is watching ‘Outlander’, her husband or boyfriend is usually watching it with her…)”

She added, “What they mostly say they like is the intelligence of the story and the complexity and strength of the relationship between Jamie and Claire. They also love the visual beauty of the show and the emotional depth of the acting.”

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