Belfast Telegraph

Jodie Whittaker: Gender pay gap will not be issue with Doctor Who

Whittaker is the 13th Time Lord and the first woman in the role.

Jodie Whittaker has said the gender pay gap will not be an issue on Doctor Who and there will not be a “big reveal” in six months.

The Broadchurch star was named the first ever female Doctor last year and since then the BBC has been embroiled in an unequal pay row after it emerged many women were paid significantly less than men for doing similar jobs.

And earlier this year it was reported the stars of Netflix royal drama The Crown had been paid differently, with Matt Smith earning more than Claire Foy.

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Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor (centre), Tosin Cole as Ryan (left), Bradley Walsh as Graham (second right) and Mandip Gill as Yaz (first right). Whittaker has said the gender pay gap will not be an issue on the show (Sophie Mutevelian/BBC/PA)

But Whittaker is confident there will not be similar revelations related to the BBC’s revered sci-fi programme.

Speaking ahead of the Doctor Who San Diego Comic-Con panel alongside her co-stars Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole as well new series showrunner Chris Chibnall, she told the Press Association: “As people in the industry, as a woman in the industry, to not be aware of it [the gender pay row] would be naive but it hasn’t been a part of this show.

“At least we know we don’t have to sit in six months and have a big reveal, that isn’t going to be the case for us.”

She added: “No-one is going to suggest the role [Doctor Who] is paid less because you’re a woman, and they didn’t.”

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Jodie Whittaker will star as the 13th Time Lord (Steve Schofield/BBC/PA)

Since Whittaker was unveiled as the 13th Time Lord in July last year, claims of a culture of sexual harassment across the entertainment industry led to the rise of the #MeToo movement.

Women came forward to allege they had been victims of assault, most notably against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is due to stand trial accused of rape. He denies the charges.

Whittaker said the casting decisions were not a reaction to any particular movement, but “it’s about time” more diverse casts were shown on TV.

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Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is due to stand trial accused of rape. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

She said: “We look around and in all of our friendship groups there are men, women, all many ages, diversities, representations of communities but when you watch TV it doesn’t represent that.

“Doctor Who has limitless appeal so it should represent the people watching the show.”

Chibnall, who has also worked on Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood and ITV detective serial Broadchurch, added: “You just want the cast of Doctor Who to reflect the world we live in so it’s not a reaction to anything. We just really wanted to have a whole range of characters so that everybody watching the show had someone to relate to.”

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