While fans of the BBC sci-fi series “Doctor Who” have been generally quite receptive to the announcement of English actress Jodie Whittaker as the new — and first — incarnation of the title character, one feminist critic is upset that a black transgender individual was not given the role, the Daily Caller reported Monday.
“It needs to be said that [Doctor Who] is still an OVERWHELMINGLY white show and that issues of representation do not exist in isolation from each other,” tweeted Anita Sarkeesian, a Canadian-American feminist of Armenian heritage known for her activism at comic-book conventions. “It’s not as if you fix the ‘woman’ problem, THEN fix the ‘race’ problem, THEN the ‘queer/trans’ problem, etc. It all has to happen in tandem.
“Treating these as separate issues works to create a vision of progress that perpetuates the very imbalances we’re struggling against,” she wrote. “We need to acknowledge the ways these issues are inextricably linked if we’re going to move forward toward a more equitable world for everyone.”
While hardly a household name, Ms. Sarkeesian “was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2015 and was the recipient of the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award,” according to a profile on her eponymous website.
“Anita is a feminist for the digital age, using modern tools and platforms to engage thousands of people who want to hear her thoughts and respond to the challenges she raises,” actor and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alumnus Wil Wheaton wrote in her TIME “most influential” profile. “A lesser person may throw up her hands and unplug her game console, but Anita is determined to ensure that video games are inclusive and representative of everyone who plays them. As her detractors grow increasingly unhinged, we have proof that her efforts are working.”