Hulu's The Act has been causing quite the stir across the pond, but there's been no sign that UK viewers will be able to experience the series that depicts one of the most talked about true crime cases in recent years. Although if other Hulu shows like The Handmaid's Tale and The First are anything to go by, there is a slight chance that The Act could be making its way to British screens soon thanks to a particular broadcaster. So, is The Act coming to Channel 4?
While there's been no official word that Channel 4 is picking up The Act, the broadcaster did air The Handmaid's Tale a month after it premiered in the U.S. in 2017. Another example was Hulu's recent series The First, which was initially broadcast in September last year in the States and made its way to British TV in November. So if you go by that margin, UK viewers could be seeing The Act towards the end of April or sometime in June as the series debuted initially on March 20 on Hulu. I have reached out to both Channel 4 and Hulu for comment regarding whether or not The Act will follow in the footsteps of these shows, but have yet to hear back. I'll let you know if I do.
If you're not familiar with The Act's premise, it's actually based on the true story of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a mother and daughter who resided in Springfield, Missouri. As ABC News reports, Gypsy's father Rod Blanchard recalls Gypsy Rose as a "normal toddler, vibrant and full of energy." However, as Rod explained, Dee Dee began telling people that their daughter "was sick, had problems sleeping, epilepsy, and it just progressed from there."
By the time Gypsy was eight-years-old, Dee Dee had told Rod (and many others) that their daughter was now suffering from leukaemia, was paralysed and in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy, and was now being fed through a feeding tube. This led to the mother and daughter becoming well-known in the Springfield community, who supported Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose through charitable donations, trips to Disney World, and even going so far as enlisting the charity Habitat for Humanity to build them a house, as ABC News reports.
However, in 2015 everything changed. After Dee Dee was found murdered in her home, Gypsy and her then-boyfriend Nick Godejohn were arrested on suspicion of murder. Gypsy was later charged and convicted of second-degree murder after Godejohn revealed to police that Gypsy Rose had convinced him to murder her mother, as Harper's Bazaar reports. He is currently serving life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder earlier this year.
But why would Gypsy want her mother killed? Well, Dee Dee was reportedly suffering from a mental illness known as Munchausen by proxy, and her daughter was her victim. As Vulture reports, this meant that Gypsy was "told by her mother her entire life that she was ill" when in fact she was as healthy as any other child her age. Munchausen by proxy, also known as Fabricated or induced illness, is where a parent or carer "exaggerates or deliberately causes symptoms of illness in the child" as the NHS states.
Gypsy's story was first told in detail in a Buzzfeed article written by Michelle Dean (who is also the co-creator of The Act) and was then be depicted in the HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest and an ABC 20/20 special. The Act first aired in the U.S. in March this year, with the story of Gypsy Rose (Joey King) and Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette) depicted over eight episodes. While the series has been well-received by critics, it has caused some controversy after Gypsy Rose said a previous statement to Bustle that she didn't give consent for her "actual name and story" to be used.
"I am unable to watch The Act. However, I feel it is very unfair and unprofessional that producers and co-producer Michelle Dean has used my actual name and story without my consent, and the life rights to do so. Therefore, there will be legal action taken against the show's creators. I want to share my story and bring awareness about Munchausen by proxy, in the hopes that I can encourage those who might be experiencing abuse to speak up, because someone WILL listen. No child should ever be abused especially from their parent."