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Black 'Doctor Who' condemns celebration of 'White mediocrity' while 'we have to be absolutely flawless'

Rising LGBTQ actor Ncuti Gatwa spoke out on a variety of identity-based issues from transgender ideology to race in a recent interview with Attitude magazine.

Ncuti Gatwa, the first Black "Doctor Who," complained, "There’s so much White mediocrity that gets celebrated," in a new interview.

Gatwa, an LGBTQ Rwandan immigrant to the U.K., spoke out about a variety of identity-related grievances as the cover model of the "best-selling gay magazine" Attitude for its May/June issue.

When asked about whether he received backlash for being cast as the Doctor, who has primarily been played by White men throughout the decades, he responded that his critics need a better hobby, but also suggested his casting is part of a global shift, "[W]e do see a shift happening in casting, in positions of power and in the status quo. I mean, not a fast shift, things could tip over the other way a little bit quicker, but you see people kind of malfunctioning because things are changing."

"Doctor Who" is a BBC funded show that traces all the way back to the 1960s, with multiple actors playing different incarnations of the time-traveling character known as "the Doctor" as he goes on various sci-fi adventures. The latest iteration of this longstanding franchise has been widely criticized for catering to identity politics.

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After rejecting the pressure of aspiring to "Black excellence" to feel loved, he said, "What the hell? There’s so much [W]hite mediocrity that gets celebrated, and Black people, we have to be absolutely flawless to get half of [that] anyway. So, I’m slowly training myself out of that and being like, ‘No sh--. You deserve love just for existing.’"

Gatwa was asked how he feels about life in the U.K. where there is a "pushback against individuality, against gender diversity, against trans identities" at the moment.

The UK has made headlines for multiple cultural debates over transgender identity. The English government has recently stopped prescribing puberty blockers to children, and the Prime Minister of the U.K. overall, Rishi Sunak, sided with author J.K. Rowling's right to criticize transgender ideology without being punished by the government.

"Everything trickles down from the top, and when you see politicians openly attacking marginalised communities, when you see our politicians openly attacking trans people, it makes it OK for everyone else," Gatwa argued. "And it is scary to see that we’ve got to a point where it is fine to attack vulnerable people because that’s essentially what’s happening. People who are the most vulnerable, the most disenfranchised, most disconnected from everyone else are being told that they are the threats."

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He went on to say, "It’s sick because it’s a hiding away of your own ineptitude. You’re going to put the blame on immigrants, Black and Brown people, trans people, queer people, to hide the fact that you are not doing anything for people? It’s easier to just create discord amongst people. It’s divide and conquer, isn’t it?"

Gatwa also used what some have argued is a slur against conservative, working-class White people, referring to them as "gamons," saying, "[W]e’ve got to keep pushing for more. Lots and lots and lots and lots more diversity, lots more inclusion on our screen. Lots and lots and lots of it for all you male gamons out there!"

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