Sunday’s episode of Outlander featured an actor with a recorded history of domestic violence, prompting a response from the book’s author.
As first reported by EW, Will Strongheart appeared as an English-speaking Cherokee named Tawodi in Season 4 episode “Common Ground.”
In 2010, Strongheart was reportedly charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm, according to CBC News, something which resurfaced when he appeared in the Canadian film Indian Horse earlier this year.
Following the airing of the season’s fourth episode, “Common Ground,” fans asked the series’ author Diana Galbaldon about her feelings toward the casting on Facebook. Galbaldon said she had nothing to do with the casting process.
“Sometimes, they’ll tell me ahead of time who’s going to play a particular part, if it’s an important character and they want me to announce it here when whichever media outlet they/ve chosen break it, but not otherwise. And no, they didn’t tell me about any of the Native American actors except Tantoo Cardinal,” she responded in a Facebook comment.
Galbadon said she “[didn’t] think it’s good that this happened,” but said she doesn’t “think it’s reasonable to ask the production people to investigate the backgrounds of every actor they hire for a minor part.”
When the allegations against Strongheart were again brought to light in April 2018, he told CBC that the incidents happened when he was battling drug and alcohol abuse, and that he had been sober since 2010.
“I would like to address the story and photos that have resurfaced, and most importantly, offer my sincere apologies to those affected by my actions — especially to the women and their families who I have hurt resulting in pain and suffering that they did not deserve,” he wrote in an email to the news outlet.
“To those I have wronged, and caused undue grief and anguish, I wish to extend the hope of reconciliation and healing with you.”