“I don’t enjoy being thought of as less than for doing the same job,” says Jodie Whittaker. “No woman does.”
In 2017, it was revealed that only a third of the BBC’s top earners are women – and that its highest-paid male star, Chris Evans, earned a whopping £2.2 million in 2016 (over 75% more than the highest-paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, who made £450,000).
So, after it was announced that Jodie Whittaker is set to become the first-ever female Time Lord in Doctor Who, everyone began making the same joke: BBC bosses hired her in order to save money. Indeed, the jokes were so prolific that the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, was forced to release a statement confirming there will be a “parity” in earnings between Jodie Whittaker and Peter Capaldi (who made between £200,000 and £249,000 for his role as the Time Lord in 2016/17).
When this topic was broached in Whittaker’s new interview with Stylist, though, the actress explained that equal pay “didn’t need to be demanded” when it came to negotiating her salary.
“This is not the show that would have the moment of revelation that I wasn’t paid the same,” said Whittaker.
“I was never going to accept less, I am equal to everyone else and have never thought of myself as anything other than that. I don’t enjoy being thought of as less than for doing the same job, no woman does. But in this particular job I didn’t need to demand it because it was already in place.”
Whittaker – who also discussed the #MeToo movement, her Yorkshire upbringing and her post-Doctor Who ambitions – added that it’s great that we’re all talking about what was previously considered a taboo subject, though, and praised the Time’s Up initiative for restoring the balance.
“We have to acknowledge that when something’s talked about, and passionately so, it’s got to be heard,” she said. “And that’s what excites me about this time, that the united voice is finally being listened to.
“We will look back on this time and be really proud of the united voice and what it can accomplish.”
To read Whittaker’s full interview, check out stylist.co.uk on 18 September or pick up this week’s issue of Stylist (available from vendors on 18 and 19 September).
Main image taken by photographer Tom Van Schelven, as part of an exclusive shoot for Stylist magazine.