Steven Moffat has criticised the media for their coverage of the controversy over the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor.
Speaking at the San Diego Comic Con on Sunday, Moffat dismissed the furore as largely media-created as Jodie prepares to take over Peter Capaldi during the Christmas special, Twice Upon A Time.
“There has been so many press articles about the backlash among the Doctor Who fandom against the casting of a female Doctor. There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative 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.”
“Doctor Who fans 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.”
It’s incredibly arrogant to assume that the concerns of genuine fans who aren’t entire on board with the decision is just a media fabrication. Those concerns are real and to block them out is to deny that there are legitimate reasons to be concerned as the bias of one facet of the press won’t make them go away.
Then there’s the assumption that those who have embraced the casting have done so wholeheartedly; even those who see the casting as a positive move are still have trepidations for the future of the show.
Telling journalist to ‘shut the hell up’ does nothing to address those concerns.
Speaking alongside Moffat at SDCC, Peter Capaldi shared his thoughts on Whittaker:
“I just wanted to say that I think Jodie’s going to be amazing. 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.”
Both Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi will depart the show this Christmas when Doctor Who returns with Twice Upon a Time.