Amid Pay Gap Criticism, BBC Says New 'Doctor Who' Actress Will Be Paid Same as Current Star
The director-general has confirmed that while the gender of the Time Lord may have changed, the salary will stay the same.
When the BBC on Wednesday revealed the wages of its top earners, the broadcaster came under instant fire for sexism, with the figures showing a major disparity between the wages of its male and female employees.
Many of Thursday's front pages in the U.K. were dedicated to the fact that former Top Gear host and Radio2 DJ Chris Evans earned some $2.9 million in 2016, almost five times more than the highest paid female, Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman.
Coming just three days after the BBC announced its new Doctor Who, curious eyes then turned to the famed Time Lord's remuneration. Would Jodie Whittaker receive the same financial rewards for taking control of the Tardis as outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi?
As it turns out, she will.
BBC director-general Tony Hall said there would be "parity" between the two actors, speaking to the Evening Standard newspaper.
While Whittaker's pay packet hasn't been revealed, Hall's comments indicate that she is likely to earn between $260,000 and $325,000, the amount received by Capaldi in 2016, according to Wednesday's announcement.
Hall also responded to some of the criticism the BBC had received over its first female Doctor Who, saying he thought "it was time" for the 13th incarnation to be a woman. "I watched my first Doctor Who in the '60s, hiding behind the sofa. As a devoted Whovian, I'm incredibly excited," he added.
In a statement on the BBC website, the broadcaster also offered its rather polite response to the "unhappy" viewers who had contacted them over Whittaker's casting.
"The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey, and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender," it pointed out, adding that Whittaker was "destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor."