It has been announced that long-time Doctor Who writer Gareth Roberts will have his contribution to an upcoming collection of Doctor Who short stories dropped, following Tweets he published ion 2017 about transgender people.
Roberts has written for Doctor Who related media since the 1990’s and wrote several episodes of the new series including The Shakespeare Code, The Unicorn and the Wasp, and Closing Time. He had been commissioned to contribute a short story to the upcoming book, but he has recently published a blog post revealing his story has been dropped following ‘agitation’ from his past Tweets.
The blog post reads: “BBC Books immediately folded to these demands, and I was informed that although I would be paid my story would not be published, as they judged – wrongly, in my opinion – that a potential boycott would make the book ‘economically unviable’.”
The controversial Tweets were published by Roberts in 2017 and the first read: “I love how trannies choose names like Munroe, Paris and Chelsea. It’s never Julie or Bev is it?” He then added to that Tweet: “It’s almost like a clueless gayboy’s idea of a glamorous lady. But of course it’s definitely not that.”
Defending his Tweets, Roberts wrote: “These tweets in September 2017 were cheerful vulgarity. Like every other reasonable person I deplore and condemn any violence, intimidation or discrimination against any person for their beliefs or for how they present themselves, or indeed any other reason.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Ebury confirmed the news, saying: “Ebury Publishing will no longer feature Gareth Roberts’ work in the soon to be published Doctor Who: The Target Storybook. Comments made by the author on social media using offensive language about the transgender community have caused upset to Doctor Who fans and conflict with our values as a publisher.”
One of the other contributors to the book, Susie Day, took particular offense to Roberts’ Tweets. She posted on Twitter that she told the publisher “if he was in, I was out.”
“BBC Books made their decision. I’m grateful they took the opportunity to demonstrate that transphobic views have no place in the Whoniverse, both in and outside the stories.” she Tweeted.