A Tory MP has linked rising crime in young males to the appointment of women to positive screen roles which had previously been held by men, such as Doctor Who and the Ghostbusters.
Nick Fletcher said because TV and film role models are increasingly being cast as women, young men are being forced to look up to the likes of Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders instead.
The MP for Don Valley said there appears to be a “tiny yet very vocal minority” of people that want a female replacement for “every male character or good role model”.
He said: "In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, [and] the Equalizer all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby. Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?"
Jodie Whittaker is the first female Doctor Who while an all-female line-up starred in the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters.
Mr Fletcher’s comments came as he led the International Men’s Day Debate in Westminster Hall.
He highlighted the difficulties faced by young boys – with many “lagging behind” at school.
He stressed the need for boys to have “positive” male role models and pressed the government to help efforts to encourage more men to become teachers.
Mr Fletcher also told the debate: “I’d also like to reiterate something that seems to be very topical at the moment – although much more for women than men – and that is the need for men to have their own identity and for masculinity to be something that can be celebrated at times rather than continually vilified.
“Everywhere, not least within the cultural sphere, there seems to be a call from a tiny yet very vocal minority that every male character or good role model must have a female replacement.
“One only needs to look at the discussion surrounding who will play the next James Bond – and it’s not just James Bond.
“In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, the Equalizer all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby.
“Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?
“These programmes make crime look cool.
“Trust me, a lifetime in prison is not cool and neither is living with the memory of a stabbed son or daughter.”
Mr Fletcher earlier also called for boys to “have their own clubs – just as girls need their own”.
He said: “Indeed, it’s a wonderful thing that girls’ football is on TV, it’s terrific that female tennis stars are finally starting to be paid as much as their male counterparts, and as a father of a daughter myself, I wish to applaud all who have corrected this wrong and the hundreds of other injustices.”
The MP later released a statement claiming his remarks had been "misconstrued", saying his point was a "straightforward one and in no way linked Dr Who being a female to crime being committed by men.
He added: "I was making a statement that boys and young men also need positive role models within the media, just as women do."
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