By now, you know the deal with Doctor Who star John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness). After allegations of inappropriate behavior on the Doctor Who and Torchwood sets resurfaced several months ago, the backlash saw Barrowman dropped from BBC and Immersive Everywhere's Doctor Who: Time Fracture production, Big Finish audio drama Torchwood: Absent Friends (which would've seen him reunite with David Tennant's Tenth Doctor), and other projects. Since that time, things were pretty quiet (minus some fun we had regarding a video he posted) but then Barrowman made a move that convinced us that he's either stopped giving even a single let alone two s**ts, or that someone needs to discuss his social media activities with him.
Now, we're not going to offer whatever it is Piers Morgan is any more publicity than he deserves because the fellow makes a living off of being the metaphorical kid in the room that would play with his own poop just to shock folks and get their attention. From Meghan Markle to hosting America's Got Talent to dozens of other sad, desperate attempts to stay relevant, Morgan's not exactly the best person to have by your side in any debate. If it's Saturday and Morgan says it's Saturday, go with Tuesday just to be safe. But when it comes to the debate over social media allowing folks to have anonymous accounts, Morgan has a friend in Barrowman.
Forgetting about those on social media who go anonymous as a buffer for online abuse (a point driven home by members of the LGBTQ community as well as those who were victims of domestic abuse in response), Barrowman retweeted Morgan's position that social media companies should prohibit cloaked accounts. Of course, Morgan used the recent online racist attack aimed at several members of England's soccer team as cover his proposal but in reality, Morgan's been at war with social media over how he's been treated for some time. Now it looks like Morgan has Barrowman in the foxhole with him. Here's a look at a screencap of the tweet since we figured at the time he would eventually take it down…
Nope. It's still there. And just in case you want to check it out for yourselves:
Now to use a corny, beaten-down cliche? But wait! There's more! Barrowman spoke with the DailyMail.com in an interview that went live Friday (and updated today) where Barrowman claimed he was a "changed" man, took the opportunity to offer his side of the situation, and have some other folks trotted out to claim he was a good guy because they never saw his willy. It's quite the read (and you can check it out for yourselves in full here), but the two highlights that stuck out to me? Well…
If You Drew "Cancel Culture and #MeToo" from Community Chest, Please Pass "GO!" & Collect $200: As Barrowman seems to see it, his current predicament has dramatically less to do with any inappropriate behavior he may have committed on set or at a convention and much more to do with… well… let's let Barrowman's carry things from here:
"I'm a supporter of #MeToo because no person should ever feel that in order to succeed in their career they can be coerced into doing something sexual against their will," Barrowman explained. But it does beg the question. Should they be made to feel that "in order to succeed in their career" they have to put up with and fake acceptance of behaviors that wouldn't be tolerated in any other business? Asking for a friend.
And then Barrowman moved on to the real culprit in all of this, the "big bad" that seems to unify folks like Barrowman, Morgan, Donald Trump, and other bastions of free speech. "My problem with cancel culture, on the other hand, is that it can take the form of intolerance and prejudice. It's a culture with no shades of grey. There's no leeway for forgiveness or room for recognising any change in someone's behaviour. Cancel culture tends to talk at you or past you or through you, rather than listen to you. Dialogue is extremely rare."
Damn you, cancel culture! Sometimes dry-humping a co-star (allegedly) is just a unique form of method acting! And we hear that the exposing of one's genitals (allegedly) is actually a form of greeting in some countries (allegedly).
Do People Own Calendars? While Barrowman says he would never act today the way he has been alleged to have behaved years ago, he goes on to offer some sage advice deserving of at least 0.13 seconds of reflection. "You can't wind the clock back." Well, then! Check, please! He makes an excellent point! I mean, we all know the 70s were a different time and… what's that? Most if not all of these allegations happened in years beginning with "20"?
Okay, let's relax and take a deep breath because Barrowman goes on to explain. "They were different times, which is why I wouldn't do now what I did then. I've acknowledged that by the way my behaviour has changed. The trouble is that certain cancel culture enthusiasts are not allowing me to acknowledge it. I've always believed that the reason I was put on this planet was to bring joy to people, make them laugh. How I do that has evolved over the years. I'm still using humour, just in a different way than might have been the case ten or 20 years ago," Barrowman argued, making sure to call out that damn Cancel Culture for not being more understanding of how different things were "back then."
But here's the thing. This was the 2000s we're talking about – not the 80s. What Barrowman still doesn't seem to understand is that these aren't different times. You were never supposed to (allegedly) act like that. It was never okay. The only thing "different" about today is that folks aren't as willing to bite, chew, and swallow s**t sandwiches like that anymore. Barrowman's problem isn't #MeToo or "cancel culture"- it's his basic lack of self-awareness and his need to bookend every attempt at an "apology" with a need to pass his blame onto others.
Barrowman was set to join the West End production Doctor Who: Time Fracture 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. As others began to speak of Barrowman's past behavior, Big Finish made its move, saying in a statement, "Big Finish has taken the decision to remove 'Torchwood: Absent Friends' from the Monthly Range release schedule and has no plans to publish this title at this time."
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