The fascinating yet deeply disturbing story follows Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her toxic and ultimately fatal relationship with her mother Dee Dee.
Gypsy was wheelchair-bound and taking countless medications because she believed she was terminally ill, although doctors could never give a scientific explanation as to why.
It turns out she was suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a disease whereby a parent or any other form of carer makes up an illness for the person they’re taking care of for sympathy or financial gain.
In order to escape her mother’s control and abuse, Gypsy Rose plotted her mother’s murder with the help of her boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn, all of which was portrayed in the twisted anthology series.
The series was met with critical acclaim upon release, but as Gypsy is currently in prison she has been unable to watch it herself.
However, that’s not stopped her from heavily criticising it.
In a statement to Bustle, Gypsy wrote:
“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.”
Gypsy then spoke about how she wants to be able to share her story first hand to help others who find themselves in similar positions: “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.”
Gypsy isn’t the only person seeking legal action either. Her living family members, including her stepmother Kristy Blanchard, are actually working on a series about Gypsy’s life called By Proxy, and talking to the Springfield News-Leader, Kirsty revealed that producer Michelle Dean had completely ignored her while working on The Act in spite of her calls.
She said: “I reached out to Michelle but she’s blocked me on everything. I sent her a voicemail, ‘Hi how you doing?’ Nothing rude, and, when she called my phone, and I think when she recognized it was from Louisiana, she hung up the phone right away.”
Joey King, who plays Gypsy Rose in the series, previously said about the series:
“The story is so messed up and there are so many layers, and it’s so, so heavy.
“I never want it to feel like we’re making fun of the story or we’re doing anything to romanticize it. It’s nitty-gritty; it’s really disturbing… And I’m really hyperaware of just trying to dive into Gypsy’s role as much as I can. I feel really proud of the work I’m doing.”
The series is currently streaming weekly on Hulu.
Go see what all the fuss is about.
Images via Hulu/YouTube/ABC news