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'Baby Reindeer' creator explains 3 strong messages you could easily miss [Video]

Top trending Netflix series 'Baby Reindeer' is an autobiographical take on stalking, grooming and abuse experienced by its creator, writer and actor Richard Gadd.

'Baby Reindeer' creator, writer, actor and comedian Richard Gadd [Image: Stanley Morgan]

Hardly two weeks after it premiered on Netflix, 'Baby Reindeer' has maintained a strong top-10 ranking in both the United States and the United Kingdom and impressively in Kenya as well where it's the No.1 TV show streaming.

The chilling true story is based on the real-life experiences of Scottish comedian, writer and actor Richard Gadd, who also stars as the lead character in the miniseries, "Donny Dunn".

Before 'Baby Reindeer' was adapted for Netflix, Gadd had performed it as a one-man play by the same title in 2019. The show's popularity with audiences saw him tour across the UK and internationally as well as win the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre in 2020.

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The new series has received great reviews since its release meriting a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes (100%).

The compelling nature of Gadd's story has also led fans to conduct investigations into the real people depicted in the TV series. Gadd, however, cautions against attempts to identify the real-life people in his story noting that he made tremendous efforts to ensure their identities remained private even as he told the story.

In a recent post on his Instagram Stories, he also added: "Please don't speculate on who any of the real life people could be. That's not the point of our show."

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Gadd has been clear, in media interviews and a breakdown posted by an official Netflix channel, that the show was intentional in many aspects.

One of the key messages Gadd intended to portray in 'Baby Reindeer' was the fact that stalker encounters aren't black and white.

In his case, he had offered a 'drink on the house' to a distressed woman 20 years his senior as a simple kind gesture, not knowing she'd end up a dangerous stalker and that in some aspects he'd encourage the intrusion.

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"I indulged her, I made stupid errors, I was in a bad place and sort of felt like I needed the attention, my confidence was at rock bottom and I wanted to get all that in, to show the nuances of the human condition. That people are a mixture of good and bad," he said in an interview with This Morning.

Gadd was also deliberate in weaving his experience of grooming and sexual abuse into the plot of 'Baby Reindeer'. His main emphasis was on the fact that the majority of abuse happens in intimate relationships.

Having struggled with the impact of the abuse he experienced, Gadd wanted to offer a narrative that he had needed at the time.

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He also points out that he was intentional about honouring the people who supported him through the ordeals, specifically an ex he wished he had paid attention to and his parents.

The comedian was deliberate in not fitting any of the characters into 'bad' or 'good' molds or creating any moral judgment around them.

Instead, his aim was more to offer comfort and a feeling of not being alone to survivors of sexual abuse and to also provide a piece of entertainment that could resonate with audiences.

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In addition to the success of 'Baby Reindeer', Gadd has written episodes for another successful Netflix series, 'Sex Education'.

Editor's Note:

  1. Report cases of sexual violence to the Wangu Kanja Foundation through toll-free line 1519.
  2. Intimate partner violence can also be reported through Kenya's 24-hour national helpline for gender-based violence 1195.
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Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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