The INSIDER Summary
- “Doctor Who” cast Jodie Whittaker as the first woman to play the show’s title role.
- Many fans on social media expressed negative reactions to the casting of a woman.
- At San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday, the current “Doctor Who” showrunner, Steven Moffat, said that the press created a false narrative of the backlash.
- Moffat said that an overwhelming majority of the show’s fandom are excited about Whittaker.
- Outgoing “Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat blames the media for what he says is a false narrative about the backlash against the casting of a woman in the show’s title role.
“There has been so many press articles about the backlash among the ‘Doctor Who’ fandom against the casting of a female Doctor,” Moffat said Sunday at Comic-Con. “There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative ‘Doctor Who’ fandom has utterly embraced that change completely — 80 percent approval on social media, not that I check these things obsessively. And yet so many people wanted to pretend there’s a problem. There isn’t.”
Jodie Whittaker will take over the role of the Doctor from Peter Capaldi beginning next season. Whittaker will be the 13th actor to play the character, and the first woman.
“Doctor Who” fans, Moffat said, “are more excited by the fact that there’s going to be a brilliant actress playing the part than the fact that she’s a woman. It’s been incredibly progressive and enlightened and that’s what really happened. I wish every single journalist who is writing the alternative would shut the hell up.”
Whittaker’s casting was the target of misogynist vitriol on social media, but has been defended by most connected to the show — including Moffat, who is handing over showrunner and executive producer duties to Chris Chibnall.
Capaldi, who will make his last appearance as the character in the show’s upcoming Christmas special, also praised Whittaker’s casting.
“I just wanted to say that I think Jodie’s going to be amazing,” Capaldi said. “I spoke to her the other day and she’s so full of excitement and so full of passion about the show. She really, really loves the show, and she’s a brilliant actress. So it’s really thrilling to know that it’s in the hands of someone who cares for it so deeply. And is going to do really, really exciting things with it. She’s a great choice, as far as I’m concerned.”
MORE FROM VARIETY: BBC says new ‘Doctor Who’ actress will be paid same as current star