Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies shuts down claims Ncuti Gatwa was cast in show because of "diversity"

11 May 2022, 14:03 | Updated: 11 May 2022, 14:42

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Russell said Ncuti landed the coveted role because he was "simply the best actor walked into the room".

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Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies has shut down claims that Ncuti Gatwa was cast as the new Time Lord purely because of "diversity and representation".

In case you haven't heard, Ncuti will become the 14th Doctor on the iconic BBC series, making history as the first Black actor to portray the Time Lord full-time in the show's almost 50-year history (Black actress Jo Martin played The Doctor in 2020 for three episodes). The Sex Education actor will replace Jodie Whittaker, who is the first female Doctor, when she leaves later this year.

Fans were incredibly pleased with the casting, with some declaring that because Ncuti had been cast in the show, they would watch it for the first time. But unfortunately, some trolls have ignored the fact that Ncuti is extremely talented and accused the BBC of casting him because he's Black.

READ MORE: Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa announced as the new Doctor Who

Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies shuts down claims Ncuti Gatwa was cast in show because of "diversity"
Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies shuts down claims Ncuti Gatwa was cast in show because of "diversity". Picture: Alamy, David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

In a now-deleted tweet, British political commentator and professional online hater Darren Grimes said: "The BBC have gone for a Black and gay man to be the next Doctor Who, it's a shame they couldn't anyone that was also trans to really tick the right boxes."

Another troll tweeted: "Should have cast a white middle aged man. That's who Dr Who is, a father figure, ancient, mysterious, a Time Lord."

Russell has now stepped in and defended Ncuti's casting. At Sunday night's BAFTAs (May 7), Russell told Radio Times that Ncuti landed the role because he was "simply the best actor walked into the room" and his casting had nothing to do with "diversity and representation".

"I'm aware that all this comes with it. I think if you're six, you don't care. And that's genuinely the fundamental reason for me. Because I watched it when I was six, I'm here making it. So six-year-olds watching it now will be making it in 50 years' time," Russell explained.

He added: "Having said that, I think once cast, those things are very important. I think diversity and representation are very important. I do want to reassure anyone you can just sit down and watch a fantastic 45-minute episode of Doctor Who with Doctor Who fighting the monsters as ever. I've always had things to say in my dramas, and I always will and that's why it's a good drama, but it's all new territory.

"That's what's exciting. We have had Jo Martin, who was a fantastic female Doctor who's been wonderful. All respect to her, so we're not trumping over that."

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