A Tory MP has denied suggesting women playing ‘male’ characters pushes young men into crime after he was comprehensively roasted for making comments that appeared to say just that.

Nick Fletcher was roundly mocked on social media following his speech at an International Men’s Day debate in which he appeared to link male crime to female actors replacing ‘male’ roles like Doctor Who and James Bond, while making a point about a ‘lack’ of positive male role models on TV and in films.

For context, here’s his comments transcribed:

“Everywhere, not at 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 discussions surrounding who will play the next James Bond. And it’s not just James Bond.

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“In recent years, we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, the Equaliser, all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays [twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray] and Tommy Shelby [from Peaky Blinders].”

“Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?

“These programmes make crime look cool.”

Seems pretty clear to us but since then Fletcher has claimed his comments were “misconstrued”.

In a statement he said:

“My rather nuanced point that there are increasingly fewer positive male role models for young boys was almost immediately misconstrued.

“My point was, in fact, a straightforward one and in no way linked Dr Who being a female to crime being committed by men.

“As has been alleged rather lazily by several individuals, I did not link a Dr Who being female to crime being committed by men. In fact I was making a statement that boys and young men also need positive role models within the media, just as women do.”

But reacting to the statement, people roasted him again, as - whether it was just a case of bad wording or not - he did appear to link male crime to an increasing number of female characters.

The mess continues.

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