Speaking at San Diego Comic Con, Steven addressed the reaction for the first time, insisting he’s heard nothing but good things said about the fact Jodie has landed the job.
Steven, who will step down to make way for incoming boss Chris Chibnall following this year’s Christmas special, said (via Digital Spy): “There are so many press articles about a backlash among ‘Doctor Who’ fandom, against the casting of a female Doctor. There has been no backlash – at all.
“The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative ‘Doctor Who’ fandom has utterly embraced that change, completely. 80% approval on social media – not that I check these things obsessively.
“And yet so many people are wanting to pretend there’s a problem. There isn’t. In fact, it strikes me that ‘Doctor Who’ fans are more excited about the idea of a brilliant actress playing the part than the fact she’s a woman.
“I wish every single journalist who is writing the alternative would shut the hell up.”
Steven’s insistence comes just days after a statement from the BBC, where the corporation defended Jodie’s casting.
“As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor,” they said. “She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role.
“She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.”
Jodie also preemptively told fans “not to be scared about my gender” shortly after her role was announced.
“This is a really exciting time, and ‘Doctor Who’ represents everything that’s exciting about change,” she said. “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”