If You Have A Problem With 'Doctor Who' Being A Woman, The BBC Has A Reminder For You

"She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor."

The BBC is not here for sexist complaints about Doctor Who.

The network caused quite a stir on social media this past Sunday when it announced that the 13th Doctor on the long-running sci-fi series will be played by actress Jodie Whittaker. While plenty of fans and non-fans alike were thrilled that a woman would finally be filling the famous Time Lord's shoes, others were insistent that the Doctor should still be a man.


Whittaker herself has already urged fans to keep an open mind. "I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender," she said, according to the Telegraph. "Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one."

Even Merriam-Webster chimed in on the issue. As the dictionary tweeted earlier this week, "'Doctor' has no gender in English." The message had no context, but enough people understood the reference to give it more than 60,000 retweets.

Now it's the BBC's turn to shut down the haters. The network released a formal statement on the "Complaints" page of its website responding to "unhappy" viewers who had contacted them.

"Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the programme," the statement reads. "The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series."

It goes on to provide a cheeky reminder that this is all fictional, and the rules are pretty lenient: "The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender."

The network also praised Whittaker as "a talented actor" with "a bold and brave vision for her Doctor," adding, "She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor."

The statement ends politely (these are the Brits, after all): "We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story."

The BBC has also addressed concerns about how much Whittaker will be paid for her work on the series. The network recently shared the salaries of its highest-paid talent — and there was a definite gender gap. General Director Tony Hall shared that the BBC is striving toward equality, and that apparently involves paying the first female Doctor just as much as her predecessor Peter Capaldi.

Hall told the Evening Standard that there will be "parity" between the two actors, adding, "And I do think it is time for [the] 13th Time Lord to be a woman."

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