BY JON ALEXANDER
So after 54 years (900 in the series) we finally have a female Dr Who. I know I’m a bit late to the party (I have been called a fluorescent light bulb in the past) but it got me thinking, a lot has been made of how it’ll be nice to have a female lead on a prime time TV show and – reading some articles – you’d think this had never happened before.
Well, I was born in 1981 and, as long as I can remember, I’ve watched various TV shows with strong female leads, so it comes as quite a surprise that so many couldn’t find one prior to this.
I used to love my comedies such as Birds of a Feather, Roseanne, The Golden Girls and Cybil. My Sci-Fi/Action shows like Buffy, Charmed, Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels. One of my favourite long running soaps was Prisoner Cell Block H (which spawned Bad Girls, Wentworth and followed on from Within These Walls). All premier TV shows with millions of devoted fans worldwide.
If I think back to the music I listened to we have had some mass-selling female artists; Madonna, Cher, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, The Spice Girls, Whitney Houston and so many more.
I’m genuinely stunned that today’s “feminists” suddenly forget what we have (or had R.I.P Whitney) and act as though entertainment is a totally male dominated industry. Perhaps entertainment is loaded in favour of male stars, but let’s not pretend women aren’t making great strides for equality. Mariah Carey has 18 Billboard Number Ones, more than any other artist, she and Madonna have sold over 100 million records worldwide and produced some of the highest grossing tours worldwide before I hit my twenties.
I sometimes feel that we can’t see the wood for the trees as people rush to Virtue Signal.
I do wonder why feminists were so quick to applaud the new Doctor Who being female, this is a role that has been purely male since 1963.
The same with people wanting a female Bond or those cheer-leading the Ghostbusters film from last year, which few watched and many ridiculed. Why do they need to occupy previously male roles? Why can’t they establish new and exciting female characters?
I’ve noticed over the years whether it’s He-Man, Batman, Spider-Man or some other theme, they’ve always had a female character or spin-off to try and entice a female audience but I do wonder why more original female characters haven’t been created. Is there a sense that they wouldn’t perform as well? Last year all we heard about was the new Ghostbusters reboot featuring an all female cast, there were talks of a sequel, everything was rosy, women were going to be the leads in everything from now on because of this. Fast forward twelve months, after a budget of $144m and taking a profit of $229m the film is considered a dire flop. Talks of a sequel died down by October and even the action figures were in the bargain bins of most toy stores by Christmas.
If Hollywood is so keen on pushing female leads then why haven’t they done so even more? Why aren’t they looking at all the roles traditionally performed by men and actively searching for new scripts? You’ll probably find the usual suspects will scream that the industry is sexist and won’t take a chance on it but surely there are enough rich supporters of women in Hollywood to finance some of these films? Can Meryl Streep and Madonna not pool their resources? Could it be that even they know they might not recoup their money? Surely they’d take the risk to promote the feminist cause?
I’m personally not bothered who takes what roles, I watch TV shows and Films because I want to see that particular story told. I don’t care if the lead is trans or black or female or gay or a robot. I wouldn’t see a film purely because it had an all-female cast, I wouldn’t purposely see a film because the leads were gay. If the story is good and well-acted, it’s worth a watch. Likewise if you’re a fan of the series you’ll watch it…. making Mr Sulu gay in the latest Star Trek film didn’t make me want to see it, I wanted to see it because I’m a huge fan of the franchise.