Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Pearl Mackie Cast After Lenny Henry's BBC Criticism


Steven Moffat, current Head-Writer and Showrunner of Doctor Who has admitted that Lenny Henry's complaints about the lack of diversity in the BBC helped shape his decision on casting Pearl Mackie as the new companion and why it was so important that he got it right.

Moffat said "I’d been listening to what Lenny had been saying. We decided that the new companion was going to be non-white and that was an absolute decision because we need to do better on that. We just have to. I don’t mean that we’ve done terribly – our guest casts are among the most diverse on television, but I feel as though I could have done better overall". Lenny Henry claimed back in 2014 that he "rarely saw a black face" on British TV and in dramas and outed a proposal to the BBC to encourage more productions to use black and ethnic minority actors.

While speaking to Doctor Who magazine in their 500th issue, Moffat also confirmed that he didn’t see any reason for why the Doctor should also not be plated by an actor of ethnic minority.

Pearl Mackie is currently appearing in the West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time until June 18th.

See Mackie's introduction as 'Bill', the new companion, in the specially filmed scene below:

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