‘Doctor Who’ writer responds to backlash over first gay companion

Steven Moffat dismisses ‘all the fuss’ following the news

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat has responded to a backlash from some fans over news that the show’s next companion will be the first in its history to be openly gay.

Pearl Mackie will play Bill Potts when the cult BBC show returns on April 15. The character replaces Jenna Coleman’s Clara as the companion of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. Last week it was confirmed that Mackie’s character would be depicted as gay. Although the show has contained numerous gay characters, none have featured as full time companions to the Doctor.

The Guardian now reports that Moffat has described himself as taken aback by “all the fuss” over the news and that “in a way there shouldn’t be any”.

Moffat said: “Just to be clear, we are not expecting any kind of round of applause or pat in the back for that. That is the minimal level of representation we should have on television and the correct response would be: ‘What took you so long?’ not ‘We’re so great’.”

“It is important we don’t make a big fuss about it in a show that communicates directly with children,” he added. “You don’t want young kids who regard themselves as boring and normal and happen to fancy their own gender to feel as if they’re some kind of special case. That’s frightening.”

Speaking about the news last week, Mackie said: “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st century. It’s about time, isn’t it? That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in the world, so watch out for them.”

“I remember watching TV as a young, mixed-race girl, not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important,” Mackie continued.

“[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines [Potts’] character – it’s something that’s part of her and something that she’s very happy and very comfortable with.”

Meanwhile, Capaldi will leave his role as the Doctor at the end of the upcoming season. Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-BridgeKris Marshall and Tilda Swinton have been tipped for the role.

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The post ‘Doctor Who’ writer responds to backlash over first gay companion appeared first on NME.

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