The Vile Internet Reaction To Fiona Harvey’s Interview Proves We Still Can’t Be Trusted With True Crime Stories

It shouldn't be an impossible feat to value a TV show for what it is

Fiona Harvey Piers Morgan interview

by Millie Payne |
Published on

When Piers Morgan interviewed Fiona Harvey, the internet predictably had plenty to say. With the world exclusive on Piers Morgan Uncensored acquiring 3.5 million views in just 11 hours, the floodgates to a horrendous narrative burst open, further cementing why it was wholly inappropriate for the chat to go ahead in the first place. Fiona emerged in the public eye last week after unveiling herself to The Daily Record as the 'real-life' Martha Scott, who was portrayed as Richard Gadd's stalker in Netflix smash hit Baby Reindeer.

'After watching Piers Morgan Uncensored, I think Fiona Harvey is absolutely batsh*t crazy #BabyReindeer', read one cruel comment. Another said that Gadd - whose real-life experiences were delivered through the protagonist Donny Dunn in the miniseries - made Martha 'too human', branding Fiona a 'self-aggrandising b*nt'. The torrent of abuse extended further, with Fiona being labelled a 'f*cking psycho' and an 'incredibly peculiar woman'.

The reality now is that Gadd's unflinching exploration of his experience with stalking and sexual assault in Baby Reindeer has ensued into precisely what the writer and actor wanted to avoid.

In an Instagram Story shared last month, Gadd urged viewers, 'People I love, have worked with, and admire (including Sean Foley) are unfairly getting caught up in speculation. Please don’t speculate on who any of the real-life people could be. That’s not the point of our show.'

Internet sleuths stopped at nothing to uncover the real-life Martha's identity when the series launched in April, but unfortunately, that was only the start of viewers marring Gadd's effort to raise awareness of his alleged stalking experience. Instead of reflecting on and appreciating the poignance of what he has achieved within the seven episodes, there have been witch-hunts and trolling aplenty - and a potentially vulnerable woman exploited on TV.

If this is the future of true crime stories, then it's time we rally together to re-write how we respond to them. It shouldn't be an impossible feat to value a TV show for what it is, without subjecting anyone to horrific intrusion and abuse.

As one X user summarised: 'Exploiting someone who is - if Baby Reindeer is accurate in its representation - very clearly mentally unwell in the name of “setting the record straight” not only puts her in danger but also allows Richard Gadd’s (likely) trauma to be debated for what?? fun?? Vile.'

Millie Payne is a News and Entertainment Writer for Grazia. She has specialised in showbiz interviews, features, articles and roundups for over three years and loves combining her love for writing, talking and all things popular culture.

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