Journalist Mariella Frostrup said that although female writers could celebrate pictures of a topless Ross Poldark “without too much fear of censure”, there would be a backlash if men objectified a female actor.
Frostrup also went on to say men and women should both be able to “confidently express desire” for the other sex.
“I fear we are losing not only our sense of humour but our sense of proportion as we throw every act of perceived sexism into the #MeToo basket,” she wrote. “There’s an enormous difference between judging a person’s worth only on the basis of their physical assets and expressing admiration for a fellow human with God’s gift (allegedly) of good looks.”
Addressing the article with BBC News, Turner said: “It seems like there is a double standard, yeah, it does seem that way. But I try not to get involved in [that debate].”
He added: “I’ve never felt objectified. I think sometimes other people want to feel that for you, which can be quite a strange thing.
“But personally I haven’t. You say objectify, but it just sounds like [Frostrup] was sort of admiring that character of Ross Poldark or physically how he looks or whatever.”
And speaking about the shirtless picture of Ross Poldark that made it onto the front of several newspapers, Turner added: “These photographs were stills from the show, so in context it makes sense.
“When you pull them out and stick a photograph on the front page of a national newspaper it becomes something very different.
“We’re not doing anything in our show that… I mean, Game of Thrones probably has far more nudity, or Vikings, or any of these shows, than we would have. So I never quite understood why our show was picked in particular, or why these images were concentrated on more so than any other shows, or other images of actors who’ve gone topless for any sex scenes…”
Turner has starred as the titular Cornish rogue in the period drama since 2015, appearing alongside Eleanor Tomlinson who plays his on-screen wife Demelza.
This article was originally published in June 2018