The Sun and Mail Online have come under heavy criticism for publishing nude photos of Jodie Whittaker in articles centred on the fact she has been cast as the first women to play Doctor Who.
Both publications responded to the BBC’s Sunday announcement the English actor would be replacing Peter Capaldi as the iconic Time Lord by running articles about Whittaker appearing naked or topless in previous film roles. Both papers went so far as to illustrate their articles with still shots of Whittaker.
The Sun published their photos of the actor from her 2006 Oscar-nomination film Venue under the headline “Dalektable”. They also ran a scathing article by the paper’s online TV columnist, Adam Postans, saying: “It is frankly nauseating that the [BBC] should now get on their sci-fi high horse and gallop into Right-Onsville to plonk a woman sheriff in town.”
The Mail Online’s article, which was also penned by a male journalist, was headlined “Doctor Nude!” and also included topless and naked photos of previous male Doctors on the iconic BBC sci-fi series. It included photos of Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.
The Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star also published photos of Whittaker.
The decision to publish nude shots has prompted outrage among many who argue it is proof of why it is so necessary to cast women in such roles.
Equal Representation for Actresses, a campaign group who want women to be equally represented on screen, in television and theatre, expressed their shock at the photos.
“Equal Representation for Actresses (ERA) is a campaign group calling for greater gender parity across our screens and as such we are delighted by the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Dr Who,” they told The Independent in a statement.
“However we are surprised and disappointed by the Daily Mail and Sun’s reductive and irresponsible decision to run a story featuring pictures of Jodie in various nude scenes.”
Ryan John Butcher, the deputy of Gay Times, and James O’Brien, LBC presenter, also voiced their frustrations.
O’Brien said: “The Sun today publishes pictures of the new Doctor Who's breasts. I'm not sure things have shifted on their axis all that much, after all.”
Freelance columnist Ellie Mae O’Hagan said: “My theory is that women's meagre ‘official’ progress obscures the fact that very little has changed relationally.”
Whittaker previously hinted she was prepared for the uproar she could receive for her role, urging fans not to be intimated by the fact she was a woman.
In her post-announcement interview with the BBC, she said: “I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
While many have celebrated Whittaker’s new role others have been so angered they have pledged never to watch the series again.
Nevertheless, Merriam-Webster, a dictionary founded in the mid-1800s which has recently made a name for itself for subtly poking fun at the Trump administration, has mocked those who are outraged about the female Doctor Who casting.
The Mail Online did not immediately respond to comment and The Sun could not be reached.
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