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Jodie Whittaker Doesn’t Think Female Doctor Who is Linked to Male Crime

Doctor Who actor Jodie Whittaker responds to accusations by a UK Government minister that her casting contributed to the rising UK crime rate.

Doctor Who lead, Jodie Whittaker, had responded to claims from a UK Government Minister that her casting as the Thirteenth Doctor contributed to a rise in male crime. Since her casting in 2017, Jodie Whittaker’s assumption of the heroic Time Lord has been met with much attention being the first woman to play the part after 12 male predecessors. While some of this coverage has been a positive focus on providing representation of women in leading roles and expanding the parameters of who can play the Doctor, there has been a vocal backlash since before Whittaker even set foot in front of the cameras for her first episode. There has been a consistent torrent of online commentators claiming that her casting was a “politically correct” stunt and that it is ultimately damaging to the show’s history.


This discourse recently re-entered headlines as Conservative MP Nick Fletcher blamed Whittaker’s casting, among several other gender-flipped reimagining’s, for a rising male crime rate in the UK. In a debate that took place on International Men’s Day, Fletcher claimed that a vocal minority were asking for “every male character or good role model” to have a “female replacement.” leaving young boys with violent, anti-hero characters such as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders to look up to. Fletcher surmised that such casting decisions had a negative effect on male youth, stating, “Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?”

Related: Doctor Who Wrongly Used The Timeless Child To Define Whittaker’s Era

In an interview with Total TV Mag (via thirteensangel), Jodie Whittaker responded to the quotes that directly blamed her, in part, for increased levels of male crime. The actor provided a polite, diplomatic take on the issue, acknowledging, as many Doctor Who fans already had, that Fletcher’s comments were somewhat ridiculous. However, she also analyzed a worrying subtext to the politicians’ words while reiterating the positive effect of having a broader range of people represented in media.

I think it’s on the one hand amusing and on the other unnerving. As much as I like to think the world revolves around me, I don’t think I have that much control. But there’s a sinister thing for me, and that is women being blamed for the actions of men. That is a very dangerous statement. I think women make excellent role models. Someone being replaced isn’t them being taken away. It’s broadening your horizons.

Jodie Whittaker as Thirteenth Doctor in Doctor Who

Whittaker, who is set to hand over the role to the Fourteenth Doctor, makes a powerful point of women being scapegoated for the actions of men, seemingly in lieu of addressing the core of any real problem. Fans have praised Whittaker for being a positive inspiration to young girls in her position, something which has been documented before in fan responses to shows like The X-Files, whose co-lead, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), inspired several women to go into STEM in a phenomenon called “The Scully Effect.” However, Whittaker also seems to suggest that women can make great role models for boys and that it is healthy to see people from all different backgrounds in any given media diet.

While Nick Fletcher seems to suggest that boys don’t have male role models to look up to in the same way anymore, that would be ignoring the fact that the industry is, by and large, still dominated by white men. While major headline franchises such as Star Wars and Ghostbusters have seen increased female representation, it is still the exception and is also usually met with the same online backlash as was mentioned earlier when Whittaker was cast as the Thirteenth Doctor. Jodie Whittaker’s thoughtful response is an effective rebuttal against the somewhat extreme claims made against her and is a demonstration of why fans have embraced her as an excellent ambassador for Doctor Who.

Next: Doctor Who Doesn’t Need “Radical” Change After Jodie Whittaker Leaves

Source: Total TV Mag (via thirteensangel)

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