Sun and Mail Online under fire over nude Jodie Whittaker pictures

Graham Ruddick
Jodie Whittaker has been cast as the 13th Doctor. Photograph: Colin Hutton/BBC/PA

The Sun and Mail Online have been accused of being “reductive and irresponsible” after publishing nude photographs of Jodie Whittaker in articles covering the announcement that she is the new star of Doctor Who.

Reporting the BBC’s announcement on Sunday that Whittaker would be the first female Doctor, both publications ran articles about Whittaker appearing naked or topless in previous acting work, illustrating the stories with stills.

Equal Representation for Actresses (ERA), a campaign group, said it was surprised and disappointed by the publications’ coverage of Whittaker.

ERA said: “We are delighted by the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. However, we are surprised and disappointed by the Daily Mail [Mail Online is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust] and the Sun’s reductive and irresponsible decision to run a story featuring pictures of Jodie in various nude scenes.”

The Sun published the photographs under the headline “Dalektable” – a reference to the Daleks, an enemy of the Doctor. The article covered pages four and five of the newspaper and described Whittaker’s “saucy screen past”. Mail Online’s article was headlined “Doctor Nude!” and also featured naked and topless photos of previous male Doctors, including Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.

The Sun ran a separate news article welcoming Whittaker’s casting on its front page, while the Daily Mail did not publish the photos in Monday’s edition. The Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star also published photos.

Theresa May was among those who welcomed the announcement of the first female actor to play the Doctor. Responding to questions about the news, the prime minister’s spokesman said: “She was pleased.” Last year May told the Radio Times that she always tried to watch Doctor Who at Christmas “if possible”.

The coverage of the BBC’s announcement attracted criticism on Twitter. Ryan John Butcher, the deputy editor of Gay Times, tweeted:

James O’Brien, the LBC radio host added:

The Sun and Mail Online declined to comment.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes