Julie Bindel thinks the new Doctor Who assistant was added to provide ‘titillation for male viewers’
Controversial feminist Julie Bindel has slammed the new Doctor Who assistant Bill Potts, claiming the character was added to provide ‘titillation for male viewers’.
Played by Pearl Mackie, the new companion made her debut in the return of the popular TV show this weekend, coming out as gay in her second line of dialogue in the show.
Fans were quick to praise the star’s portrayal, hailing her as “iconic” and “keeping it real”
Bill Potts’ sexuality was displayed exactly like a straight character and this is the thing I’m happiest about from that first ep #DoctorWho
— abi (@abicgil) April 15, 2017
The star, who replaces Jenna Coleman alongside Peter Capaldi, previously said: “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st century. It’s about time isn’t it? That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show.”
She added: “I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important.
“[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character – it’s something that’s part of her and something that she’s very happy and very comfortable with.”
Bindel however, who has previously come under fire for her views on trans community, said the character’s inclusion was most likely done to please men.
“This is something that is clearly done for the benefit of those who just think of it as girl-on-girl titillation,” she told The Mail on Sunday.
“I don’t want to have representations of lesbians which is all about sexism, double entendres, and sexualised behaviour. It’s just taking two women and using the blueprint of sexist hetrosexuality.”
Her description of the plot as “titillation” is confusing, given Bill does not have sex with, kiss or actually have any physical contact with her love interest, Heather, in the episode.
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Instead, Heather is trapped by an alien puddle and spends much of the episode as a terrifying-looking water monster. Titillating stuff.
Mackie’s character is the first out series regular on the show, though there have been a string of recurring LGB characters in the past.
Fan favourite characters River Song (Alex Kingston) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) were both described as ‘omnisexual’, while the show also featured married lesbian interspecies crime-fighters Madam Vastra and Jenny (Neve McIntosh and Catrin Stewart) in recurring roles.
Showrunner, Steven Moffat, also previously spoke out about the “fuss” surrounding the decision to cast Bill as gay.
“We didn’t know there was going to be all of that fuss,” he explained. “And in a way, there shouldn’t be, that’s kind of nonsense.”
“Just to be clear, we are not expecting any kind of round of applause or pat on the back for that; that is the minimum level of representation you should have on television”.
The Emmy Award-winning producer added: “The correct response should be: ‘What took you so long?’ We didn’t expect all the fuss, so the fuss stops now.”