Negative reaction to new female Dr Who casting is not surprising, says Birmingham expert

A Birmingham expert says the negative reaction to the casting of a woman in the lead role of Dr Who is “not surprising”.

Jodie Whittaker was unveiled as the 13th Doctor by the BBC last week.

Jodie Whittaker

Jodie Whittaker

But the BBC has been forced to issue a statement defending the decision to cast the first woman in the role after negative responses from some viewers on social media.

It said: “Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor.

“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.”

Finola Kerrigan, a reader in marketing and consumption at Birmingham Business School said the move had shone a light on wider issues around representation on the nation’s TV screens.

“This negative reaction to the casting of a woman as Doctor Who is not surprising when set in the context of expressions of cultural tastes more broadly,” she wrote in a University of Birmingham blog post.

“Researchers have long pointed out the problems with a lack of diverse representation on screens – the stories on screen do not represent everyday reality and in not doing so, this lack of representation can have broader negative implications.

“While the focus of the casting of Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who is on gender, broader attention needs to be paid to normalising diverse casting across the board so that our screens reflect society more accurately.”

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