The British science fiction television programme, Doctor Who has been criticised, and accused of being homophobic, after the series killed off a gay character that only had seconds of screen time.
The scene at the centre of the controversy occurred during the show’s New Year’s Eve special and featured a Dalek disguised as a woman who is attempting to get into a secure area that can only be accessed with a finger-print.
The woman (Charlotte Ritchie) asks the security guard (Connor Calland) who has access. He reveals that he is the only one who can open the door and that he has a boyfriend.
“Today, just me. Most secure digits in Yorkshire. That’s what I tell my boyfriend, anyway. I probably shouldn’t be telling you that, I’m new at this,” he replies.
The scene cuts to the woman dragging the guard’s dead body across the floor. Some fans accused the sci-fi series of using the “bury your gays” trope.
How long did it take to kill off the token gay character?
— Rainbo 🏳️🌈 (@RainboPress) January 1, 2019
uuuuugh Chibnal gives us a gay character in Doctor Who and then instantly falls into the bury your gays trope 😒 #dwspoilers
— Don Bowker (@HipsterBrig) January 1, 2019
As much as I enjoyed the #DoctorWho special, I hate that this is the third time this season it’s used the Bury Your Gays trope, which also happens to be the amount of gay characters introduced this season! Stop it!
— George Ray (@GrayquaziumZ) January 1, 2019
Starting 2019 off with the Bury Your Gays trope is not how I wanted this year to start, thanks #DoctorWho
— fuck you goat man!! (@bearstellation) January 1, 2019
However, other fans of the show didn’t think the character’s death as being homophobic, rather, simply the nature of the show.
People are going on at that gay character as an example of bury your gays and it’s really not. Loads of characters got killed very quickly and the death had nothing to do with the guy’s orientation and everything to do with him being a security guard? #DoctorWho
— Alexander (@1029Alexander) January 2, 2019
I must confess to being a bit unsure what the apparent problem is with his death tbh
— Harry Samuels (@hnjsamuels) January 2, 2019