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Why Gillian Anderson Refused to Return on X Files: Read to Find out More!

Simone Singh



Gillian Anderson played Dana Scully in the American Sci-Fi TV-series called the X Files from September 10, 1993, to May 19, 2002, on Fox. The actress, who gained fame and chunk of her fanbase from this show refused to return when the producers approached her in 2015, offering her the opportunity to return for season 10 of the show.

The season 10 which aired in 2016, did not include either of the important characters, Scully (played by Anderson) and Fox Mulder (played by David Duchovny). The initial series lasted for 9 seasons and was a huge success because of its thrilling and fictitious theme. The Sci-Fi paranormal series covered the lives of two FBI agents who unravelled supernatural crimes.

The show was streamed by a major portion of the American population and was religiously followed. Anderson and Duchovny became America’s Sweethearts within overnight. Things, however, went south when the producers at Fox initiated the idea to renew X Files for a season 10. After almost a decade of the show ending, the creators approached the former cast. Anderson who was approached first by the cast was proffered an unfair deal.

The commission that was put on the table for her was way less than that of Duchovny. David due to personal issues did not hesitate to decline the opportunity to play Mulder in season 10. Anderson, on the other hand, was berated and given an offer which was paying her less than her net worth.

The actress had established herself well after the series had ended and was already working with BBC on a show which became a huge success in the Crime-Thriller genre alongside Jamie Dornan. The actress politely turned down the opportunity like Duchovny to return to the show. She was assured of the fact that if the producers were offering her such a low commission they will be creating issues for her.

The actress also had signed a contract with Netflix for the show ‘Sex Education‘. This show became a massive hit in the U.K. and was widely streamed on Netflix. The actress was also nominated for several awards for the same. As far as going back to X Files was concerned, she maturely dealt with the situation.

According to inside sources, the actress who adored the series did not wish to have any bad blood with the producers at Fox nor the crew of X Files. This show was very close to her heart and she had poured her heart and soul while playing Dana Scully and she wished to keep her memories of the show to be that of the happy moments she shared with the cast.

There was an effort by the paparazzi to briefly link the controversy that the Fox News Channel faced to Anderson declining the offer made by Fox. However, no claims were made by the actress nor Fox. The actress was approached by multiple reporters with questions about the sexism and inequality in terms of salary she had to face. The actress never commented on such harsh claims and deflected the questions. She reiterated in every interview that her reason for declining the offer was because her plate was already full of multiple contracts.


Electronics and communication engineer in the making, I’m a voracious reader and a passionate writer. I enjoy learning new skills and aim to enhance my skillset. I strive to achieve the best and firmly believe that every opportunity is a gateway to one’s personal success and development.


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