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BBC Defends 'Doctor Who' Over Claims of Racism THR

The BBC is defending the popular sci-fi series "Doctor Who" against accusations of racism. According to The Hollywood Reporter, after a new academic book came out that calls the series "thunderingly racist," the BBC is pointing out its "strong track record of diverse casting among both regular and guest cast."

Several contributors to the book, "Doctor Who and Race," point to the failure of the show to cast an Asian or black actor as the Doctor, the story says. Others took issue with a 2011 "slapstick" episode where the characters travel back to kill Hitler, as well as the tendency in the show's early years to cast white actors in ethnic roles.

One American writer criticized the show's fifth Doctor, portrayed by Peter Davison, as being cricket-obsessed. The writer argued that it points to the "racial and class nostalgia" of the British Empire, the story says.

"The biggest elephant in the room is the problem privately nursed by many fans of loving a TV show when it is thunderingly racist," wrote Australian academic Lindy Orthia, who compiled the anthology.

"Doctor Who" is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.