Baby Reindeer Creator, Star Implore Fans to Stop ‘Quite Sad’ Online ‘Detective Work’ in Search of Netflix Series’ Real-Life Figures

Online sleuthing inspired by Netflix’s Baby Reindeer has gotten wildly out of control, its creator and one of its stars say.

The drama concerns the real-life stalking of Richard Gadd, a Scottish writer and actor who also stars in the show as Donny. Jessica Gunning plays Martha, the stalker.

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In the series, the characters’ names are pseudonyms. But some viewers have taken to social media to figure out who the characters real-life counterparts are. Eventually the fans started harassing Sean Foley, an actor/writer/director who is friends with Gadd, because they suspected he was the real-life Darrien, a character who [Spoiler Alert!] grooms and sexually assaults Donny.

On Tuesday, Foley posted a note from Gadd on his X account. “Hi everyone,” it reads. “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.”

Similarly, our sister site Deadline reports, Gunning spoke with BBC Scotland’s The Edit, calling the Internet digging — which reportedly includes threats and intimidation — “quite sad.”

She added: “If you like the show and you are a fan of it, you should stick with the story of Martha and Donny being what connects you, not trying to do any detective work and find out any real identities.” She also encouraged viewers to view the series in less black-and-white terms, saying, “There’s no goodie or baddie or villain or victim, really. They are just complicated people, like humans are.”

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