James Dreyfus claimed to Andrew Doyle on his GB News show Free Speech Nation over the weekend how he felt “stabbed in the back” to be “erased” from a series of Doctor Who audiobooks. According to James, speaking publicly in support of author JK Rowling after she was accused of transphobia and asking gay rights charity Stonewall for a public debate resulted in audio company Big Finish cutting ties with the actor “without one phone call”. The conversation came after Andrew quizzed the actor on the idea that “cancel culture” isn’t seen as real in the eyes of some.
Andrew kicked off the discussion, asking James: “What about this idea of cancel culture? There is a lot of people who talk about how cancel culture is not real, there aren’t people who are losing work because of their opinions, but I know for a fact you’ve experienced a form of this, haven’t you?
“And this was to do with a Doctor Who role. Can you tell us, because I don’t think many people will be aware of this, can you tell us what happened there?”
James claimed: “Well, I was working for an audio company playing rather a significant part in it and I signed a letter in support of JK Rowling and the horrendous abuse that she had been subjected to, and still is.
“And I also signed a letter asking Stonewall for a respectful debate on these matters.”
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James continued: “And then I got a raft of abuse from the fans of this particular programme, I mean a really shocking amount. At some point, you know, I thought I’m going to respond in kind and I told several of them where to go.
“I then sent a tweet out to this company saying, ‘forgive my response to these people but I’m not going to sit here and be accused of something I’m not’.
“And then they put out a statement saying, ‘we do not support transphobia in any way shape or form’, thus sort of saying about me, ‘we think he’s transphobic’.”
The GB News host then chipped back in to argue: “Based on nothing.”
The former Sarah Jane Adventures star replied: “Based on the two letters I signed – and then I was erased from the artwork on the CDs and then my name kept disappearing and I called my agent and said, ‘can you just find out what’s going on? Why is my name being erased?’
“Three phone calls over a period of time, (with them saying), ‘Oh no, we’re just doing this, that and the other’. I finally caught up with them and said you’ve got to do something about this, something weird is going on.
“And they released a CD of all the people who’d played the part I played and there were quite a lot of them [The Master], and I was left off it.”
James then went on to claim it was because of the letter he’d signed to Stonewall and that the company had “just erased me” from the role – which he found “absolutely staggering”.
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He went on: “It didn’t really matter, I didn’t know anything about (Doctor Who) and it wasn’t a high-paced job but it was fun.
“What astonished me was not one phone call, not one letter, not one email and I just thought the cowardice to do this.
“I just felt stabbed in the back,” he concluded to Andrew.
A spokesperson from Big Finish told Express.co.uk: “James Dreyfus features in Big Finish’s upcoming Doctor Who audio drama, The Fourth Doctor Adventures – Series 11: Solo, which will be released early next year.”
James had previously landed a part in the Doctor Who franchise after appearing in spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures back in 2011.
This isn’t the first time he’s claimed to have been “cancelled” from his role as The Master as he brought up the incident on Twitter earlier this year.
Replying to a tweet suggesting cancel culture “is not a thing”, James replied: “That’s odd. I was cancelled & erased from a job, publicly, for asking Stonewall for a ‘respectful debate’.
“For context. I played the Master too. Erased, & never rehired. No explanation,” he followed up in a second tweet dated March 2021.
Free Speech Nation airs Saturdays and Sundays on GB News.