Tell ‘Doctor Who’ To Choose A Woman Or A Person Of Color

Growing up in England in the ’60s, I watched Doctor Who religiously every Saturday. The program became hugely popular, and ran all the way from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive it in 1996, but it actually relaunched in 2005.

Jennifer Johnson, Care2’s Manager of Member Activism, is also a devoted fan of the BBC program Doctor Who.

But she’s frustrated that the 13 actors who have played the lead character so far have all been white males. So Johnson started a petition urging Chris Chibnall, the head writer of the British science fiction TV show, to ensure the next Doctor is cast as a woman or a person of color.

More than 14,000 Signatures

To her delight, the petition has already gathered over 14,000 signatures and the list keeps growing. Why not add your name to Johnson’s petition?

“The show’s script always makes a huge deal out of the fact that the new Doctor can be anyone,” Johnson says. “The newly regenerated Doctor feels their face and hair, scrambles for a mirror, all excited and anxious to see who they’ve become. I love the idea that anything’s possible. So it’s always a bit disappointing to me that the Doctor ends up being a white man.”

With Doctor Who choosing a new character for its lead role of The Doctor in 2018, this is the perfect time for the show’s producers to choose a woman or a person of color.

As Johnson explains: “I love Doctor Who because it’s a show that explores deep questions in a fun and engaging way, and there’s no reason those concepts can’t be brought to us by a Doctor who’s not a white male.”

The series is one of television’s longest-running shows, having been on air since 1963. It depicts the adventures of the Doctor, a space- and time-traveling alien character, who explores the universe in his TARDIS, a time-traveling space ship. Accompanied by several companions, the Doctor fights enemies in order to save civilizations and help people in need. 

We Aren’t in the 1960s Anymore

It’s a fantastic, exciting program, but with one huge problem: every single Doctor Who, the hero of the universe, has been a white male. And we are not in the 1960s any more.

“It’s hard to believe that a character designed to transform into a brand new physical form would always just happen to turn into another white man,” Johnson says.

As a huge Doctor Who fan, Johnson says she is incredibly excited to see that the media is picking up on fans’ desire to see some diversity in their favorite show. 

Time For A Woman Or A Person Of Color – Or Both

How about Maisie Williams, aka Arya Stark in Game of Thrones? Williams, a previous guest star on Doctor Who, recently agreed that it’s past time for a woman or a person of color to portray the hero at the center of BBC’s long-running series.

I think a female doctor would be incredible,” Williams told the Evening Standard at the British Film Awards. “I think a black doctor would be incredible. I’m all for Idris Elba – but if not I’ll take it for the team and do it!” She may have some competition: both Helen Mirren and Hayley Atwell have also expressed interest in being the first female to play Doctor Who.

J.K Rowling, of course, has already lauded the idea of diversity by approving the selection of Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni to play Hermione Granger in the upcoming Harry Potter play.

Johnson is delighted that fans and reporters have begun suggesting some out-of-this-world candidates for a more diverse Doctor Who. As the petition author says, “If enough of us join this campaign, we can convince the show’s producers that this is what the fans want to see.”

Sign Johnson’s petition to show head writer and showrunner Chris Chibnall that you support a Doctor Who who isn’t another white male, and if you have a vote for who you think the Doctor should be, leave their name in the comment box when you sign.

And if, like Jennifer Johnson, you are aware of an issue where you would really like to make a difference, you can start your own Care2 petition. Check out this handy guide to help you get started, and just wait for Care2’s community of activists to join you in your cause.



william Miller
william Millerabout a year ago


Joon m.
Past Member 1 years ago

I got this blog site through my friends and when I searched this really there were informative articles at the place.get paid to write research papers

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Karen C.
Karen C1 years ago

It's important for different races to be represented in the media

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen1 years ago

so like, you folks want Gabourey Sidibe to be The Doctor?

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen1 years ago

why stop there and not ask for a disabled woman of color Doctor who weighs 400 pounds and has a speech impediment?

Leigh EVERETT1 years ago

More political correctness crap. If Doctor Who happens to be a white male then, so what? He is a "Time Lord" after all and not a "Time Lady".
It's not like the series doesn't have women in it. All the Doctor's assistants to date have been female, black and white, with only one male to my knowledge, Rory. And that was only because he accompanied his fiancée, Amy.

So how about we leave the series as it is. Sometimes tradition is good too instead of always fighting for man to woman, white to black, thin for fat, hétero for homo for trans for gender neutral (whatever that means).

Get a life and leave it be.


Ben Oscarsito
Ben O1 years ago

Sorry, never heard of "Doctor Who"...

Frank R.
Past Member 1 years ago

Thank you

Stephen Brian
Stephen B1 years ago

If the idea is that race or gender should not determine opportunities for roles on TV or in movies, then I have a great idea: Don't demand that it determine opportunities for roles on TV or in movies in specific high-profile cases.