'Doctor Who' Casting Reveals TV Has a Long Way to Go When It Comes to Equality

July 17th 2017

Ngozi Ahanotu

BBC revealed Sunday that actress Jodie Whittaker would be the newest lead character on the hit show “Doctor Who.”

The science fiction television show on the UK’s BBC channel has been a significant part of British pop culture since it first aired on TV in 1963. In that time, the show has seen 12 men as the lead character of Time Lord on the show. Soon after the news broke, people began tweeting their reactions, which for better or worse was very indicative of the diversity challenges the film and television industries have faced for years.

Many fans expressed how much they love the idea of casting Time Lord as a woman.

While for other fans of the show, the news was met with hate and disappointment.

But people were ready to shut those haters down.

By and large, gender parity is still unresolved in the film and TV industry. Although, women are gaining more leads in media, there's still a deep lack of women in front of and behind the camera.

Sites and organizations like the Center for Study of Women in Television and Film, Women and Hollywood, and Women in Film, Digital, and Media cover the plight and successes of women in the TV and film industry through various case studies, learning programs, and research.

The Center for Study of Women in Television's most recent study showed that female protagonists and major characters were in films at a record-breaking number last year, with 29 percent of women as sole protagonists and 37 percent as major characters. Even still, this growth in film is nothing compared to the 41 percent of women appearing in television, despite that number declining every year.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is preparing to sign a $5 million TV tax credit set to boost diversity into the state legislature for the state’s budget. The tax credit passed state legislature last week and is the first of it’s kind; created to balance the hiring practices and significantly increase the casting and employment of women and people of color in TV.

The casting of a woman in the lead role in "Doctor Who" is an amazing look at how the world can shape where media is going.