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Tory MP backtracks after saying women playing ‘male’ characters drives men to commit crime

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A Tory MP has backtracked after claiming there’s a connection between young men turning to crime and women playing traditionally male roles in TV and film.

Nick Fletcher, Conservative MP for Don Valley, raised the topic in a Westminster Hall debate on International Men’s Day, where he said masculinity needs to be “celebrated” rather than “continually vilified”.

Referring to woman-led reboots and recasting’s of previously male roles, Fletcher said: “Everywhere, not least in 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 discussions around 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’re seeing so many young men committing crime?”

After being criticised, Fletcher released a statement claiming his point was “misconstrued” despite being on video.

“As is often the case, my rather nuanced point that there are increasingly fewer positive male role models for young boys was almost immediately misconstrued,” Fletcher wrote. “My point was, in fact, a straightforward one and in no way linked Dr Who being a female to crime being committed by men.”

He added: “In fact, I was making a statement that boys and young men also need positive role models within the media, just as women do.

“Boys need positive male role models, and that is a point that I will continue to reiterate and never apologise for making.”

In the modern TV reboot of The Equalizer, Queen Latifah plays the lead role following Denzel Washington in the 2014 film and Edward Woodward in the 1980s series.

Labour leader Keir Starmer previously called for James Bond to be played by a woman in September, following Daniel Craig’s last bow as the character in No Time To Die.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Starmer said:  “I don’t have a favourite Bond, but I do think it is time for a female Bond.”

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