Doctor Who: Barrowman, Time's Up UK See Sexual Harassment Differently

Aside from an anecdote from James Marsters during Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast from back in September, there really hasn't been much to cover with regards to Doctor Who star John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness). In case you forgot, Barrowman was called out earlier this year when allegations of inappropriate behavior resurfaced via a 2014 video where Barrowman's Doctor Who co-star Noel Clarke (who faces his own allegations) discussed Barrowman exposing himself on the set. Since that time, Barrowman has approached the issue in an almost "Jekyll/Hyde" way.

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John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness – Doctor Who Special 2020: Revolution Of The Daleks – Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC Studios/BBCA/Doctor Who

On one hand, releasing a statement to The Guardian to address his "high-spirited behaviour" that he said "only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage," continuing, "With the benefit of hindsight, I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behaviour and I have apologised for this previously. Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed." Yet others also saw Barrowman as approaching the backlash he received over his actions almost as a personal attack where he was the victim

Well, it would appear that Barrowman has had some time to think about everything that's transpired over the past several months and came to an important conclusion- a conclusion he chose to share on the ITV talk show Lorraine. And for those of you betting out there who put your money on, "Barrowman realizes that his actions were wrong no matter what year it was- especially exposing your genitals in the workplace" then I've got some very bad news for you. "I think that if it was now, it would be crossing the line. I think that something that happened 15 years ago, it was bawdy behaviour, silly behaviour. It was, you know, being done in the confines of the set and with, you know, we were like a family, working together," Barrowman said, making it sound like we were grunting, stalking around on all-fours and throwing our own poop in 2006 as compared to 2021.

"The fact that it was stories that I've already told, you know, I've been telling them for years," Barrowman continued. "I haven't hidden anything; they've been exaggerated and they've tried to turn them into sexual harassment, which it absolutely is not." Wait… what? So is the implication here that exposing yourself to a co-worker is sexual harassment… but exposing yourself to a co-worker but you're laughing while you're doing it means it's not sexual harassment? We're confused.

But according to Barrowman, we're confused because (wait for it)… we weren't there. "And the one thing that, you know, for me, all the people that are making a fuss about it, they weren't there. They don't know the context of things that were done, like I said I would never do it now, but what we're not allowing people and myself to do with the continued bashing in the press and everything that's going on just to sell the newspapers, [is] we're not allowing people to learn to adapt and to change, and that's the most important thing," Barrowman argued (and yes, Barrowman revealed that "we've moved on").

Apparently, Time's Up U.K. isn't buying into Barrowman's argument that exposing oneself on a set was much more acceptable in 2006, either. Following Barrowman's appearance, the organization issued a statement to Variety pushing back on his comments. "The assertion by John Barrowman that his well-documented actions do not constitute sexual harassment reveals yet again the need for the entertainment industry to underline and reassert expected standards of behaviour of which this is wholly unacceptable," a Time's Up U.K. spokesperson told the entertainment news outlet. "Flashing people IS sexual harassment and it is never funny."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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