The BBC has been accused of sexism after releasing its top stars’ earnings, which revealed a major disparity between the salaries of women and men.
According to the pay data, which the broadcaster released for the first time in its history, only one third of top-paid stars are women, and a small fraction are non-white. The numbers revealed that the highest-paid male celebrity, BBC Radio host Chris Evans, earned at least four times as much as the highest-paid woman, “Strictly Come Dancing” host Claudia Winkleman.
It was a stark contrast from the week’s earlier news that “Broadchurch” star Jodie Whittaker would follow Peter Capaldi as the next “Doctor Who,” the first time a woman had landed the beloved role. Many were wondering if Whittaker would suffer the same fate as the network’s other female stars. Though her salary has not been announced yet, BBC director-general Tony Hall has confirmed there will be “parity” between the two actors. Capaldi earned between $260,000 and $325,000, according to the data.
Whittaker’s casting was celebrated by much of the world, though the BBC did receive some backlash from certain diehard fans. “And I do think it is time for 13th Time Lord to be a woman,” said Hall. “I watched my first ‘Doctor Who’ in the Sixties, hiding behind the sofa. As a devoted Whovian, I’m incredibly excited.”
The BBC also responded to critics of the decision on its website: “The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.”