The BBC’s long-running, one-time children’s show, Doctor Who, has successfully managed to hemorrhage large numbers of viewers in spite of the fact that Doctor Who himself has had all his “toxic masculinity” removed by becoming a woman. Now, Doctor Who fans have taken their wokeness to whole new levels by firing one of its writers from a short story collection — as a justified punishment for his “wrongthink” on transgender people.
Following a coordinated campaign by a small but loud group of trans activists, award-winning Doctor Who writer Gareth Roberts was sacked by BBC Books. Roberts wrote six episodes of the revived Doctor Who television series, as well as numerous television, audio and print spin-offs and was commissioned by BBC Books to contribute to an upcoming Doctor Who anthology. But, according to a statement he published on Medium, the story he wrote will now not be published.
This is what happened recently. I’m keeping it simple and factual to avoid any ambiguity.
I was commissioned by BBC Books to write a short story for an anthology of Dr Who stories. I’ve written several Dr Who episodes for tv and many Dr Who books, for BBC Books and for Virgin, the previous licence holder for Dr Who fiction.
I completed and submitted the work.
The publication of the book and its authors was not intended to be announced until early June, but some details, including my contribution, were leaked accidentally.
At this point a section of the Dr Who fandom agitated for my removal. Also, some of the other contributing authors to the book (I don’t know who) threatened to withdraw if I was involved. BBC Books immediately folded to these demands, and I was informed that although I would be paid my story would not be published, as they judged – wrongly, in my opinion – that a potential boycott would make the book ‘economically unviable’.
Looks like the militant identitarians have claimed another scalp. This time it’s a gay man who posted some tweets a few years ago where he used the word ‘trannies’.
These tweets in September 2017 were cheerful vulgarity. Like every other reasonable person I deplore and condemn any violence, intimidation or discrimination against any person for their beliefs or for how they present themselves, or indeed any other reason.
When I was a kid in the 1980s and a member of the London Lesbian and Gay Teenage group we referred to ourselves and each other as queers, trannies and dykes. I note that one of these words is now somehow an official initial in the ever expanding lexicon LGBTQ, used now by the British royal family and the Conservative party. I find this irritating but I would never try to prevent people saying it with force or sanction. Freedom to offend is not an attack.
While social justice warriors and other woke fans suggested he simply apologize and move on, Gareth shows real wisdom of the modern culture.
Some have urged me to make a full, obeisant apology. Even if I was inclined to, I don’t think it would have any effect at all – for example, Helen Lewis of The New Statesman is currently being monstered for the most careful, respectful piece on this issue. I’m not bothered very much by words though I’m bothered when they distress my friends and family. But then, that’s how intimidation works. That’s why intimidators intimidate. (And I know for a fact it would be much worse for a woman in this position.)
Gareth goes on to state his unequivocal viewpoint on transgenderism and gender identity so there is no ambiguity where he is coming from:
I’ve rejected restrictive cultural gender stereotypes for as long as I can remember. I consider them to be very often harmful and constricting, especially for girls and women. The culture I enjoy most and the artists I like most are people who laugh at, bend and play with these roles.
I don’t believe in gender identity. It is impossible for a person to change their biological sex. I don’t believe anybody is born in the wrong body.
I think it’s wrong to – write a falsehood into law; compel people by law to speak words they do not believe; rewrite the law to remove women’s biological sex-based rights and protections; reinforce gender stereotypes; medicalise children who don’t conform to gender stereotypes. That’s it.
I don’t believe my view should be protected either. People must be protected, ideas must never be. I would ask the writers who objected to my inclusion in the same book as them to reflect on that.
And here is a Doctor Who writer who threatened to leave the project if they allowed Gareth to submit his story:
When I signed up to the project, I only knew of him as a DW TV writer. When the contributor list leaked, I learned his inclusion was incredibly hurtful to trans fans, and why. Being involved felt like a tacit endorsement of his views. Big nope.
— Susie Day🌈 (@mssusieday) June 4, 2019
I raised my concerns, and said if he was in, I was out. I don’t share a platform with bigots (including ones who say it’s all just bants, before restating their bigotry). I fully expected to be ditched. He’s a name in this world. I’m… not.
— Susie Day🌈 (@mssusieday) June 4, 2019
Ultimately, Gareth’s personal views, which are very close to mainstream, are no longer considered irrelevant. Now all comments, tweets, social media posts, off-handed remarks and the like must be historically cleansed so that they are suitably “woke”. This cultural purging is destroying civil society and supporting only one side in the ongoing culture war. The fact of the matter is that Roberts should be judged on the quality of his work, the merit of it being entertaining, not whether or not he holds a “preferred” political viewpoints.