Updated 3:57pm 29 June 2012

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Sherlock writer Steven Moffat furious with sexist claim

Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Sherlock writer Steven Moffat has reacted furiously to suggestions his modern-day sleuth is a sexist, saying a newspaper report suggesting as much “strayed from criticism to a defamation act”.

Moffat, who co-writes the series with Mark Gatiss, was attacked in the Guardian this week for his portrayal of Sherlock’s romantic interest Irene Adler in the series’ first episode A Scandal in Belgravia, which aired last Sunday.

The first installment – watched by nearly 10 million people – irked reviewer Jane Clare Jones who said “you've got to worry when a woman comes off worse in 2012 than in 1891.”

The article went onto say: “She's not a waste of space, it is suggested, because she escapes the weakness of her sex and can act, symbolically, as a man.”

But speaking during a question and answer session at a preview screening of Sunday’s second episode The Hounds of Baskerville, at Cardiff’s Cineworld cinema last night, Moffat reacted with fury.

Asked what he thought of the suggestion Sherlock was sexist, Moffat said: : “Do you know what, I don’t know if I have got a sparkling or witty response to that.

“I was pretty cross about it if I’m very honest.”

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