‘Doctor Who’ Gets More Than 100 Complaints Over “Inappropriate” Transgender Character

The BBC received more than 100 complaints from Doctor Who viewers who argued that the inclusion of Yasmin Finney’s transgender character Rose was “inappropriate.”

The corporation has revealed it had 144 messages from disgruntled viewers in its fortnightly report on audience complaints. Some said Heartstopper star Finney’s character was “anti-male,” while others said it was an “inappropriate inclusion of [a] transgender character.”

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The Star Beast special was watched by more than 7.6M people meaning the complainants make up a tiny proportion of the audience. It is not unusual for the BBC to receive complaints over transgender storylines or reporting, but the corporation will likely stand by the representation of Rose in Doctor Who.

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 month, 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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