Karen Gillan
Image: Instagram

Karen Gillan, known for her roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, is exploring the concept of cancel culture in her new ITV drama "Douglas Is Cancelled."

This drama, which features Hugh Bonneville as a disgraced breakfast TV anchor and Gillan as his co-host Madeline, delves into the modern phenomenon of being "cancelled."

The show begins as a workplace comedy but evolves into a serious drama addressing significant issues such as the abuse of power in the workplace.


Gillan describes her character, Madeline, as initially hard to read, potentially perceived as manipulative or calculated.

However, as the series progresses, viewers learn about the challenges she has faced, highlighting the struggles many women endure in various work environments.

Cancel culture, driven by social media interactions, involves calling on others to reject a person or business for breaking social norms or expressing controversial opinions.


Despite having a significant social media presence with millions of followers, Gillan has not been overly concerned about being cancelled.

She believes in being authentic online but acknowledges the importance of mindfulness regarding her statements.

Gillan shares that her loved ones worry more about her social media presence than she does, prompting her to reflect on the potential impact of her large audience.

The drama "Douglas Is Cancelled" is set within a television breakfast news program. Gillan mentions that her frequent appearances on such shows provided sufficient research for her role.

Although she did not base her character on anyone specific, she drew inspiration from journalists like Emily Maitlis and Susanna Reid.

Gillan's career took off as Amy Pond, a companion in Doctor Who, over seven years ago.

Since then, she has become a significant figure in Hollywood, playing Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy series and Ruby Roundhouse in the Jumanji films.

Working on "Douglas Is Cancelled" felt like a Doctor Who reunion for Gillan, as it involved former collaborators such as writer Steven Moffat, Alex Kingston, and Hugh Bonneville.

Now based in LA with her comedian husband Nick Kocher, Gillan values her visits to Inverness to reconnect with family and friends, providing a much-needed escape from her high-profile life.

She cherishes the idea of retreating to a simpler life in the Highlands but acknowledges that her marriage to an American has altered her plans.

In summary, "Douglas Is Cancelled" allows Karen Gillan to tackle the complex issue of cancel culture, both on-screen and in her reflections on personal experiences.

Her portrayal of Madeline in the ITV drama highlights significant workplace issues, resonating with broader societal discussions about power and accountability.

Despite her fame and substantial social media following, Gillan remains grounded, valuing authenticity and mindful engagement with her audience.