John Barrowman Accused Of Non-Apology After ‘Joke’ Defence Of Exposing Himself

by : Emily Brown on : 18 Jul 2021 11:25
John Barrowman Accused Of Non Apology After 'Joke' Defence Of Exposing Himself PA Images/BBC

Doctor Who actor John Barrowman has been accused of failing to apologise for exposing himself on TV and film sets in what he described as an effort to ‘maintain a jokey atmosphere.’

Barrowman was accused earlier this year of getting ‘his genitals out on a regular basis’ while on the set of Doctor Who and Torchwood, with one crew member recalling occasions on which he would call her into his dressing room and ‘just have his willy out, standing in the doorway’.


In 2008, Barrowman apologised for allegedly pulling his trousers down during an interview on BBC Radio 1, and following the more recent accusations he responded with a statement which said: ‘With the benefit of hindsight I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behaviour and I have apologised for this previously.’

John Barrowman (PA Images)PA Images

Per The Guardian, he added at the time: ‘Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed.’

The actor has since said that the scandal has resulted in him being a victim of ‘cancel culture’, as well as having impacts on his mental health, for which he is now seeing a therapist.


In an interview with the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine released yesterday, July 17, Barrowman explained he has ‘never been someone who’s embarrassed about his body so it didn’t bother [him] if anyone saw [him] naked.’

He continued:

The motivation for what I’d call my ‘tomfoolery’ was to maintain a jokey atmosphere.

There was absolutely nothing sexual about my actions and nor have I ever been accused of that.

In the theatre quick costume changes happen in the wings all the time, with everyone stripping off to get into their new outfits in time for the next scene.

Girls might be braless, boys only in jockstraps. That’s just how it is and no one gives it a second thought. But I accept that my behaviour at the time could have caused offence.

John Barrowman (PA Images)PA Images

Following the release of the interview, social media users criticised Barrowman for not offering an appropriate apology, with one person writing: ‘The fact that people are still defending John Barrowman after his non-apology is saddening but completely unsurprising.’

Another sarcastically tweeted: ‘#johnbarrowman saying ‘it’s not my fault you didn’t like it when I flashed my junk at you’ is quite the apology.’


In his interview, Barrowman said that undergoing therapy has helped him a ‘great deal’, but he criticised cancel culture for giving ‘no leeway for forgiveness or room for recognising any change in someone’s behaviour.’

The actor added that his BBC executive producer Julie Gardner told him to ‘rein in’ his behaviour after she received complaints from cast and crew, so he ‘did as [he] was told’ and his behaviour changed ‘overnight’.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

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  1. MailOnline

    EXCLUSIVE: 'My behaviour was wrong, I was juvenile... but I've changed': John Barrowman gives his side of the story after tales of his naked antics on TV sets back in 2008 re-emerged