On Monday, two British tabloids, The Sun and Mail Online, published nude photos in their coverage of Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to ever play the decades-old role in “Doctor Who.” BBC recently announced that Whittaker, known for her role on “Broadchurch,” would play the iconic role.
The Sun paired the nude photos with equally sexist commentary about Whittaker’s past on-screen nudity.
Ryan John Butcher, deputy editor of Gay Times Magazine, tweeted a snippet of the article and pointed out previous incarnations of the Doctor who have been naked as well. Actor Matt Smith, for example, had a love scene with “Doctor Who” alumna Billie Piper in her series, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” before taking on the role of the 11th Doctor.
“There’s no shortage of good roles for actresses on TV,” the Sun’s article read. “Jodie Whittaker isn’t exactly going to inspire young girls to become asexual time travelers, is she?”
Mail Online also published a story on Monday that described a nude scene featuring Whittaker from the Netflix series “Black Mirror,” calling the sex scene “orgasmic” in the headline. Although Mail Online included some of Whittaker’s other work, the entire page is littered with screenshots of the sex scene.
Since “Doctor Who” originally debuted in 1963, there have been 12 different actors cast as the Doctor and all of whom have been white men. The character is unique in the fact that rather than dying, the Doctor simply regenerates and becomes a new person. Therefore many Whovians, as the show’s fans are called, have been pushing for years for a woman or person of color to take on the role of the Doctor.
Many fans were outraged at the Sun and Mail Online for their selective and misogynistic coverage of Whittaker’s groundbreaking role.
Whittaker told BBC in a recent interview that taking on the role felt “incredible.”
“Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change,” Whittaker said. “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”