-12

Why is the word "negro" so heavily used in the new Doctor Who episode "Rosa", isn't the show supposed to be PG? Using the word "Negro" makes it seem too violent for a PG show, plus using the word "negro" and yelling at a dark skinned person seems quite MA rated for Doctor Who.

  • 13
    "Montgomery, Alabama, 1955. The Doctor and her friends find themselves in the Deep South of America. As they encounter a seamstress by the name of Rosa Parks, they begin to wonder whether someone is attempting to change history." Look into the history of that place and time period and you'll have your answer. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 22 '18 at 9:37
  • 13
    Just be glad that they didn't use the actual word that whites in 1955 Alabama would have used to describe someone black. – Valorum Oct 22 '18 at 9:43
  • 1
    I've voted to leave this question open, it's not really a good one, imo, but I can't see how it is close worthy and it certainly isn't POB. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 22 '18 at 10:31
  • 3
    "Black" is no more a slur than "Jew." It completely depends how you say it. – Meat Trademark Oct 22 '18 at 10:51
  • 3
    The question may be loaded with opinion, but the answer it asks for is fairly objective, I think. And learning that answer (for those who may not know it) will only help improve people's appreciation of the show and the issues it was trying to raise, so I think this is an important question to keep open. VTR. – Steve-O Oct 22 '18 at 13:41
26

It is used because it is an accurate portrayal of things that would have been said at the time in that area, although it has likely been toned down a bit. The actual words used were likely more offensive but to give an accurate portrayal the Doctor Who writers decided to tone it down a bit whilst still keeping the effect.

Remember that it was only in 1955 that Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat and segregation was actually still legally enforced in Alabama at the time.

On Thursday, December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress, boarded a city bus in downtown Montgomery and sat one row behind the whites-only section. As the bus filled with passengers, the white driver ordered Parks to surrender her seat to a white man. Parks refused. Her defiance prompted the driver to summon the police, who promptly arrested her for violating the city's segregation ordinance.

The Encyclopedia of Alabama, Modern Civil Rights Movement in Alabama

In the mid 1950’s, segregation was widespread and legally enforced throughout the American south. Birmingham, Alabama was a hotspot of black activism in opposition to segregationist policies.

Global Nonviolent Action Database, African-Americans in Birmingham, Alabama, protest segregation, 1956-1958

Further "negro" was used in the newspaper reports of Rosa refusing to give up her seat and so it seems rather accurate to me.

Rosa Parks bus incident newspaper report

The episode is clearly set in this time period and location and so the words used are certainly because those sorts of words would have been used.

Montgomery, Alabama, 1955. The Doctor and her friends find themselves in the Deep South of America. As they encounter a seamstress by the name of Rosa Parks, they begin to wonder whether someone is attempting to change history.

IMDb, Doctor Who, "Rosa"

Remember that Doctor Who is also supposed to be somewhat educational and so it makes sense to have some resemblance of an accurate portrayal. In fact this new season is supposed to be more educational then the last seasons.

The idea, apparently, is to make Doctor Who more educational for its younger audience, as was the plan when it launched back in 1963, and according to new reports in the Mirror the series may have as many as three episodes set in the past, with another three in the future and four on present-day planet Earth.

RadioTimes, Should Doctor Who actually become more educational?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.