How large is the intersection of these two sets of people:
A: People who are praising actor Ed Skrein for withdrawing from the Hellboy reboot because he is not of the same ethnic background (Asian-American) as the original character in the source material;
B: People who want Idris Elba cast as the next James Bond.
I think Idris Elba is a fantastic actor. I love his work, especially in the BBC series Luther. I think he could also be a tremendous James Bond. But the fact remains that he is not of the same ethnic background as the original character in the source material.
You can’t have it both ways.
And another thing: it is my opinion that the Doctor is and always has been a unique character in the science fiction universe. For fifty-five years the Doctor has been an ever-changing male character, but coming soon, she will be female. One of the wonderful things about sci-fi is the number of possibilities and choices that are available to the writers and showrunners. The freedom to take risks like this (and it is a risk to offer such a change to an audience overwhelmingly familiar with a male Doctor) is what creating art is all about.
I like Jodie Whitaker too. I think she could be a fantastic Doctor. Much will depend on the strength of the stories she is given and of the supporting cast. A new showrunner with
new ideas setting new expectations makes this the perfect time to make this change. I hope it brings a new demographic to the show, and I hope she succeeds in the role. But I’m not so foolish to think that if the ratings suffer, she won’t be replaced. Doctor Who is not ars gratia artis, it’s art for profit, and the goals are different.
But nothing ever remains static in television or movies. Change happens all the time, whether we like it or not. Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have made a separate art form within an art form of shocking their audiences with the unexpected deaths of major characters.
In the long run, I think it is simply foolish for those people who believe casting choices should conform to some arbitrary and capricious social justice agenda. That cheapens the art. Let the artist have the vision and bring it forth as he or she desires.
If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
Look for yourself and see what Marvel Comics has learned in the last three or four years about this.