Last year, shortly after Jodie Whittaker was named the first female star of Doctor Who, we reported that there would be “parity” between how much she’d be paid and the salary of outgoing Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi. This was sort of framed at the time as an act of benevolence on behalf of the BBC, which had come under fire after reports came out accusing it of paying female employees significantly less than male employees—to the point where radio personality and former Top Gear host Chris Evans, who is disliked by virtually everyone, made five times as much as the highest-paid woman. By making an effort to pay the first female Doctor as much as the most recent male Doctor, it seemed like the BBC was really serious about fixing things.
As it turns out, though, the equal pay wasn’t just offered to Whittaker and she actually had to fight for it, with Digital Spy reporting that she told the media at the U.K.’s National Television Awards that she demanded to be paid as much as Capaldi, saying “it’s an incredibly important time” and that equal pay “should be supported”—whether you’re an old alien man with a time machine or a newly regenerated alien woman with a time machine. Whittaker went on to add that it’s “a bit of a shock” that so many people are surprised by the notion that equal pay should be supported, noting that she knows “people of both sexes believe they should be paid equally.”
Whittaker made her Doctor Who debut in the show’s recent Christmas special, and her first proper episode will premiere later this year.