BBC Hits Back At Complaints About Transgender ‘Doctor Who’ Character: “The Show Will Continue To Proudly Celebrate Diversity”

The BBC has brushed off complaints from Doctor Who viewers who argued that the inclusion of Yasmin Finney‘s transgender character Rose was “inappropriate.”

The British broadcaster received 144 messages from disgruntled viewers about Heartstopper star Finney’s appearance in The Star Beast special, with some arguing it was “anti-male.”

In an update on its complaints responses website, the BBC said: “As regular viewers of Doctor Who will be aware, the show has and will always continue to proudly celebrate diversity and reflect the world we live in. We are always mindful of the content within our episodes.”

The Star Beast special was watched by more than 7.6M people last month meaning the complainants made up a tiny proportion of the audience. It is not unusual for the BBC to receive complaints over transgender storylines or reporting.

Finney features as the daughter of Shaun and Donna in the 2023 specials. Her family supports her transition, but is depicted by writer Russell T Davies as still coming to terms with her pronouns.

At one point during The Star Beast, Catherine Tate’s Donna tells her mother: “You have a kid. You think, good I’ve got it, that’s mine. Then she grows up into this extraordinarily beautiful thing and you think: where the hell did she come from? How lucky am I?”

During a press conference last November, Davies was unequivocal about his ambition to reflect more of society on screen. He lamented how transgender representation can be vilified in the press, arguing: “[There are] newspapers of absolute hate, and venom, and destruction, and violence who would rather see that sort of thing wiped off the screen destroyed. Shame on you, and good luck to you in your lonely lives.”


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