Bridgerton Star Calls Out Netflix, Shondaland for Providing “No Support” After Suffering Two Psychotic Breaks From Show


Ruby Barker is speaking out about her experience of working with Netflix and Shondaland on Bridgerton, and it isn’t pretty.

The 26-year-old stopped by the LOAF podcast over the weekend and got candid about her mental health, revealing that she suffered two “psychotic breaks” while working on the series.

“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 okay or if I would benefit from any sort of aftercare or support,” the actress said.

“Nobody,” she added before revealing that her mental health suffered while filming Bridgerton Season 1.

As you’ll recall, Marina Thompson was isolated due to her pregnancy, which Barker says led to her deteriorating during filming.

Ruby Barker arrives at the Pride Of Britain Awards 2023 at Grosvenor House

“During filming, I was deteriorating,” she revealed.

“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.”

Barker went on to say that her subsequent hospital stay was kept hush-hush due to the show gearing up for its premiere.

“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,” Barker said on the podcast.

Ruby Barker at the Black Lens Film Festival screening of "How To Stop A Recurring Dream"

She went on to say that the show’s success led to a “drastic” change in her life.

“In the run-up to the show coming out, I was just coming out from hospital,” she added.

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“My Instagram following was going up, I had all these engagements to do … My life was changing drastically overnight 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 it was ok and that I could work and that it wasn’t a problem.”

Ruby Barker Poses at the Black Lens Film Festival screening of "How To Stop A Recurring Dream" at BFI Southbank

Most new shows on Netflix come with a lot of publicity commitments to raise awareness of the project.

Barker revealed that she felt like she was being forced to promote the show while battling her mental health.

“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 recalled feeling. 

“I don’t want to come out and poo poo on that because then I’ll never work again.”

Ruby Barker Instagram Shot

This isn’t the first time Barker has opened up about her mental health in the wake of Bridgerton’s success.

She previously opened up in a since-deleted video on Instagram about how she had been “struggling since Bridgerton.”

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The video was shared in May 2022, with the star revealing she had been unwell “for a really long time.”

“I want to be honest with everyone. I have been struggling,” Barker shared at the time. 

Ruby Barker attends the Black Lens Film Festival of "How To Stop A Recurring Dream"  Event

“I am in hospital at the minute, and I am going to be discharged soon and hopefully get to continue with my life,” Barker continued.

“I am going to take a little bit of a break for myself, and I would encourage others, if you are struggling, please do yourself a favor and take a break. Stop being so hard on yourself.”

She said she felt like she was “carrying the weight of the world on my back.”

“… I am at the point where I have a diagnosis, and I will talk to you about that at another time,” Barker continued.

Ruby Barker on Instagram

“I can’t carry on the way that I’ve been carrying on. I need to change, so that’s what I am trying to do.”

“I want to survive, and I will survive. I am going to.”

Bridgerton was an instant success story for Netflix and Shondaland, delivering some of the streaming service’s biggest numbers at its launch.

It was swiftly renewed for a second season and is now renewed through Season 4.

A spinoff, Queen Charlotte, aired earlier this year, while Bridgerton Season 3 is set to premiere in 2024.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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