Current Doctor Who show runner and writer/creator of several other hit U.K. productions, Steven Moffat, has jumped on Twitter to defend himself today. He did an interview in 2004 just before the classic sci-fi series was about to be rebooted and some of his comments hit a nerve. They’ve cropped up here and there since then but this seems to be the first time Moffat has become of aware of what many are calling his misogynistic tendencies from those particular comments and chosen to respond and make clarifications on the social networking website.
Here’s the quote that was circulating online that caused the uproar:
There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married – we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands. The world is vastly counted in favour of men at every level – except if you live in a civilised country and you’re sort of educated and middle-class, because then you’re almost certainly junior in your relationship and in a state of permanent, crippled apology. Your preferences are routinely mocked. There’s a huge, unfortunate lack of respect for anything male.
Earlier today, Moffat gave an, “Eh, what?” tweet to someone calling him a “sexist bastard.” When someone else asked him why he was being called sexist he replied, “Cos of an old interview I gave where I was talking about Patrick in Coupling, but it sounded like I was talking about me.” He further clarified to another user, “quoted out of context in the original. I was talking about Patrick in Coupling, not ME!”
The creator seemed to have had enough after a few more tweets and stopped responding to them. The original interview, with Scotman.com, is editorialized, in other words, quotes have been taken from their interview with Moffat and placed how they chose would work best for the story. The quote used on tumblr and other sites is also cobbled together from two parts of the original piece. As far as we can tell, no direct transcript is available. Just before part of this quote in the article, they do have Moffat talking about the women in Coupling and inbetween talking about how he used to be just like the character of Patrick. Since there is no transcript, for now we’ll have to take the article for what it’s worth and either believe Moffat is telling the truth or lying.
Usually with this sort of thing the next step is to look at the artist’s body of work for evidence for or against. What do you guys think? Sherlock might have been particularly bereft of female characters, but Moffat’s Who certainly features some pretty strong female characters.