Week after week, the Outlander audience, almost half of which are middle-aged white women, rooted for Claire as they decided to condemn a strong woman in reality.
For three years, Diane Gabaldon’s world of Outlander has taken over the Starz fall lineup. The historical romance is about a WWII nurse who travels back in time to the era of the Scottish Highlander, doing so while vacationing in Scotland with her husband.
The woman, Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe) meets one of the highlanders named Jamie (Sam Heughan) and a romance ensues. Their relationship then jumps between different timelines and is what dominates the show and engrosses millions of viewers each week. During those three years of the show’s existence, the show’s audience rooted for the traits of strength and independence in the lead character Claire, but then attacked those same traits when they appeared in a woman who sought the highest office the US. That woman was Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
I am a fan of the show, and one of 2.5 million women who Business Insider claims watched during the 2015 premiere season. The show is a favorite escape for women, with 64 percent more female viewers than male. The audience that formed for the show became middle-aged women. Middle-aged white women. They were almost half the female viewership that first season.
The showrunners were watching and planning accordingly. They even had a theory as to why the audience was largely older adult women. According to Jethro Nededog of Business Insider, the reason for the female-centric audience is feminine touch throughout the show’s production. He quoted a person close to production who mentioned that the women see in Claire, “what a strong woman looks like, how a strong woman sounds and that women at any age can have full lives.” Claire continued to be this character through the next season.
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