‘Doctor Who’: First female Doctor Jodie Whittaker demands equal pay

By @chelean on
Jodie Whittaker
Actress Jodie Whittaker star of the new series "Broadchurch" on the BBC America cable channel takes part in a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association Cable TV Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 25, 2013. Reuters/Fred Prouser

New “Doctor Who” titular star Jodie Whittaker wanted equal pay to her male predecessors on the show, and she got it. The 35-year-old English actress, who is the first woman to play the time-travelling Gallifreyan, demanded to be paid equally as outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi.

At the National Television Awards on Tuesday, Whittaker, who will take on the role as the Thirteenth Doctor of the series, revealed that she demanded to be paid equally as the former male stars of the show. That would mean she would receive as much as £249,999 (AU$441,200) per episode.

“I don’t imagine you’re going to meet a woman this evening who is unenthusiastic about the prospect of equal pay,” she was quoted by Radio Times as saying. “It’s an incredibly important time and [equal pay is] a notion that should be supported – and it’s a bit of a shock that it’s a surprise to everyone that it should be supported.”

Last year, BBC Director-General Tony Hall promised that there would be gender “parity” for the coveted role. He said he was aiming to get rid of gender pay imbalance from the BBC by 2020.

“Yes, there is parity for the same amount of work,” he told the Evening Standard. “And I do think it is time for the 13th Time Lord to be a woman.”

The 13th Time Lord is indeed a Time Lady. When Whittaker was announced as the next Doctor in July, some fans of the show condemned the decision, insisting that the title of Time Lord should always belong to a man. Nevertheless, a large number of Whovians, as well as former stars of the show, applauded the decision.

Since she's going to be paid as much as Capaldi, who aired his last episode on Christmas, Whittaker is expected to receive between £200,000 and £249,999 (AU$353,000 and AU$441,200). Capaldi’s salary was revealed to fall into that grade by the network last year.

“Doctor Who” season 11 will premiere late 2018. Chris Chibnall will take over as showrunner from Steven Moffat. Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh will join Whittaker as the Doctor’s new companions.

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