Former “Doctor Who” Actor Pearl Mackie has responded to criticism of a female playing The Doctor by telling fans the role is a genderless entity.

Mackie was responding to criticism of the reveal that Jodie Whittaker would be the 13th Doctor in the series, becoming the first female actor to do so according to PinkNews. Mackie defended the choice by saying that the Doctor is an alien that doesn’t have a set gender.

“Time Lords are gender-fluid – that was established ages ago,” Mackie said in an interview with iNews. “Why can’t the Doctor be a woman? I think it’s important, and I think if people are frustrated by that then, I don’t know, maybe they need to update their views.”

Mackie played Bill Potts, the first-ever lesbian companion for the doctor in the show’s history. She will depart the show around Christmas this year.

“For people to see a mixed-race woman, a woman of colour, being completely comfortable with being a lesbian on a global prime-time series is phenomenally important,” Mackie said of her role.