Culture

Doctor Who Spoke. It’s About Time Hollywood Listened

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who proves the world is ready for women to be heard as well as seen on screen. Yet studies show Hollywood executives are lagging behind.

By Lara Robertson

Culture

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who proves the world is ready for women to be heard as well as seen on screen. Yet studies show Hollywood executives are lagging behind.

By Lara Robertson

Earlier in October, over 9 million people tuned in to watch the eponymous character from Doctor Who make their thirteenth regeneration into a woman. This was a first for the long-running BBC series, with the time-travelling doctor played by Jodie Whittaker. Despite concerns of a massive backlash, the episode was met with rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. Over 9 million people tuned in to the first episode – a massive feat considering 6.8 million viewers watched the previous Doctor Peter Capaldi’s series opener. The series’ success disproved that old and stubborn argument that viewers would rather see and not hear female characters. Whittaker hopes the move will inspire many more female doctors to come. “The exciting thing is when there will be 13 of us,” she told This Morning.

Many have noted how important it is for girls to see women achieving success. As tennis legend and founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation Billie Jean King once said, “You have to see it to be it”. In film and television in particular, diversity has become a pressing issue in recent years. Throughout history, men and their stories have dominated our stages and screens, with women largely delegated to the background, playing two-dimensional stereotypes such as the helpless damsel in distress, the sexy femme fatale, or the domestic goddess and mother.

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