‘It was a Really Tormenting Place’: ‘Bridgerton’ Actress Slams Shondaland and Netflix, Says She Suffered Two ‘Psychotic Breaks’ and was Still Expected to Promote the Show

Bridgerton” star Ruby Barker says she suffered from two mental breakdowns during her time on the Netflix period drama.

She played one of the Featherington family’s cousins, Marina Thompson, in the drama. Her character was pregnant and unmarried during the show’s first season. According to a recent interview, she suffered from her first mental break in 2019 just after production wrapped for season 1.

Barker says that she had another mental break in 2022, but allegedly received no support from the streaming platform or Shondaland executives who created the show.

Ruby Barker
“Bridgerton” actress Ruby Barker says Netflix and Shondaland executives offered no support after suffering two psychotic breaks. (Photo: @rubybarker/Instagram)

The 26-year-old actress made the revelations during an appearance on Oxford University’s “The LOAF Podcast” published on Oct. 28.

“During filming, I was deteriorating,” Barker said. “When I went into hospital a week after shooting ‘Bridgerton’ season 1, it was really covered up and kept on the down-low because the show was going to be coming out,” she said.

She believes that the isolation of her character added to her own personal torment. “It was a really tormenting place for me to be because my character was very alienated, very ostracized, on her own under these horrible circumstances.”

The British entertainer said as she prepared to leave the hospital she began to notice her notoriety on social media had increased during that time.

“My Instagram following was going up, I had all these engagements to do. My life was changing drastically overnight,” she explained, “and yet there was still no support and there still hasn’t been any support all that time. So I was trying really, really hard to act like this is fine. This is OK. I’m OK. I can work, and it’s not a problem.”

But even worse, Barker felt she had no support from the show’s creators or production team in the midst of her mental battle.

“Not a single person from Netflix, not a single person from Shondaland, since I have had two psychotic breaks from that show, have even contacted me or even emailed me to ask if I’m OK or ask me if I would benefit from any sort of aftercare or support,” she stressed. “Nobody.”

Barker claims she was still expected to promote “Bridegrton” while she was going through her mental crisis.

“It’s almost like I had this metaphorical invisible gun to my head to sell this show because this show is bubbly and fun,” she added. “I don’t want to come out and pooh-pooh on that, because then I might never work again.”

“Bridgerton” has been hailed as a revolutionary show for casting Black actors and other minorities in the prominent roles of the period drama. The series was created by “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes, who is also the founder of her production company, Shondaland.

Neither Rhimes or Netflix has yet commented on Baker’s revelations, and fans were less than sympathetic with their reactions on social media.

“The show was wrapped, why is this the network’s responsibility? Did she say anything during production? Did they create an unsafe work environment? Or can she just not handle the work?”

“I mean…they produce TV series,” noted another fan. “They’re not professional therapists what were they supposed to do?”

Watch the Full Video Here.

“Studios need to take accountability and let people be human beings. Love this business, love the people. But s—t like this. Man c’mon,” added another.

One fan did appear to feel sorry for the actress and replied, “Netflix has some serious explaining to do. Not the first time I’ve heard something like this about one of their productions.”

Season 3 of “Bridgerton” is expected to arrive in May 2024.

Trending NOW:

Never miss a story — sign up for ATLANTA BLACK STAR’S free daily newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest developments from top news headlines to celebrity news.

Back to top