Doctor Who branded ‘thunderingly racist’ by academics….   6 comments

Through all his incarnations, Doctor Who has fought selflessly to ensure the survival of all manner of life forms across the Universe.

But now an international group of academics has branded the heroic Time Lord ‘thunderingly racist’.

The Doctor’s new foes claim that his dismissive attitude towards black companions, his contempt for ‘primitive’ people, and even his passion for cricket are all proof of a reactionary ‘whiteness’ pervading his adventures.

Their concerns are published in a new book, Doctor Who And Race, which says the BBC programme is based in attitudes ‘that continue to subjugate people of colour’.

But fans dismiss such criticisms as ‘groundless’ and ‘ridiculous’.

One of the more bizarre theories is offered by Amit Gupta, an American professor, who argues that Peter Davison’s cricket-loving incarnation of the character in the Eighties was thinly disguised nostalgia for the British Empire. He wrote: ‘[He] portrayed the amateur English cricketer of the late 19th Century when the game was characterised by both racial and class distinctions.

‘Cricket also had a role in maintaining the status of British imperialism through the exercise of soft power as it was successfully inculcated by the colonial elites. Davison’s cricketing Doctor once again saw the BBC using Who to promote a racial and class nostalgia that had already outlived its validity.’

Several of the 23 contributors to the book lament the failure to cast a black or Asian actor as the Doctor. And in earlier series, white actors were cast as other ethnicities. Singled out for criticism is a 1977 storyline, The Talons Of Weng- Chiang, set in Victorian times and featuring the white actor John Bennett as a Chinese villain…..

Read the full article at Mail Online.

BBC denies ‘Doctor Who’ racism allegations

The BBC has responded to comments that Doctor Who is ‘thunderously racist’.

A new collection of essays titled ‘Doctor Who and Race’ claims that the sci-fi programme is racist for failing to cast a black or Asian actor as the Time Lord and accuses the title character of being dismissive of black companions.

The BBC has responded to the accusations – which fans have branded “ridiculous” and “groundless” – denying any racism and pointing out the “diverse casting” of the series.

It said: “Doctor Who has a strong track record of diverse casting among both regular and guest cast. Freema Agyeman became the first black companion and Noel Clarke starred in a major role for five years [Mickey Smith].”

The essays also blast the programme for its ‘outdated attitudes’ amid suggestions that primitive cultures are portrayed as ‘savages’.

The anthology’s editor Lindy Orthia said: “The biggest elephant in the room is the problem privately nursed by many fans of loving a TV show when it is thunderingly racist.”

The BBC added that characters are cast based on their acting ability and not their ethnicity.

A spokesperson said: “Reflecting the diversity of the UK is a duty of the BBC, and casting on Doctor Who is colour-blind. It is always about the best actors for the roles.”

via Digital Spy.


Posted May 26, 2013 by Whoogle News in Doctor Who News

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6 responses to “Doctor Who branded ‘thunderingly racist’ by academics….

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  1. A show that has been on since the 60s is likely to have some issues like this. I think New Who is a vast improvement in these areas though it could certainly be more diverse.

  2. Personally, I don’t think that Who is racist at all, neither do my colored friends, but if that’s what they want to preach then let ’em at it. All I know is that I’ll keep watching, no matter what “academics” say. I like Who the way it is now, and I myself wouldn’t really like it much more if it were diverse, since it is a specific tv show for specific things. If you want diverse, go film your own show and you can make it as diverse as you please. Doctor Who probably won’t change because you think it needs a Black or Asian doctor. If you want that, as I said, go make your own show.

  3. Well, for starters. Almost every show made circa the 80’s to some point was not as diverse or forgiving for typecasts. Tom and Jerry cartoons aired today are tame in comparison just to give you an idea. I think these so called critics as they would have us believe are just nitpicking. Yes, I’m sure as with any series dating as far back as the 1960’s is concerned there are things that may pop up. However, I also think that any critic is just a wimpy tart full of themselves and drunk with their own opinion, and when you get them together to write a book, it’s a frat party of idiocy and moronic drivel. What exactly are they trying to prove?

  4. It a kids tv show people don’t take it so seriously. Next they will be moaning because there has only been one American in it!

  5. Academic crap, people with too much time on their hands !

    Richard Hudson
  6. some people just live to find faults in things. how can it be racist when they have cast black people in it??? perhaps in the very beginning it was as that was the culture (i’m not saying it was right but it was the culture then). However from the re-birth of doctor who with Christopher Eccleston it has become more modern and has people upon their acting ability. Colour makes absolutely no difference to the legendary show that is doctor who. it is all about acting ability.

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