John Barrowman Likens Cancel Culture To ‘Hyenas’ For Trying To ‘Strip Him Of His 35-Year Career’

The actor left his judging role on Dancing On Ice last year amid allegations that he exposed himself on the set of Torchwood and Doctor Who.

John Barrowman has hit out at cancel culture, saying it has gone “way too far” and compared those who engage in it as “hyenas” for trying to end his career.

The actor and presenter was at the centre of on-set misconduct allegations last year, with claims that he repeatedly exposed himself on the sets of Torchwood and Doctor Who.

The 54-year-old has always maintained that the stories about his behaviour had been “exaggerated”, describing it as “bawdy, silly behaviour” and issued an apology.

During an interview on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, the star double-downed on his view that his behaviour was not “sexual harassment”.

John Barrowman
John Barrowman
Gareth Cattermole via Getty Images

“It was tom foolery and it was silly,” he insisted. “We had a great time on set. It wasn’t sexual harassment. The public have seen that.”

He added: “Cancel culture has tried to strip my career after 35 years. The stories are not new. I wrote about them in my autobiography.

“Cancel culture are like hyenas that are trying to strip the meat off the bone. Cancel culture has gone way too far, I am ready to move on now and so is everyone else.”

John said the fallout from the controversy had been difficult to deal with and that he had been worried about his reputation.

“It was very traumatic and upsetting for me and my family, companies believed what was said on Twitter instead of people talking to me,” he said.

“I was not sleeping. I was so worried about what people were going to say. We need to learn to forgive, it was a different time now. I wouldn’t do that now as times are different.

“If I told all the secrets of the entertainment industry I could write a huge book.”

John Barrowman
John Barrowman

In May last year, The Guardian published allegations from two women that the actor exposed himself “on a regular basis” behind the scenes of Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Numerous witnesses described the incidents to the newspaper as “inappropriate pranks”.

After the allegations came to light, John apologised, describing his behaviour as “tomfoolery” and that he has evolved in the years since.

He added that it was “only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage”.

In a statement issued in June, he 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. Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed.”

Julie Gardner, an executive producer on Doctor Who and Torchwood, also confirmed to The Guardian that she had received a complaint about his behaviour on set “around 2008”.

“I met with John and reprimanded him [to] make it clear to both John and his agent that behaviour of this kind would not be tolerated,” Gardner said, adding that she also spoke to the show’s other executive producers and the head of BBC drama commissioning.

“To my knowledge, John’s inappropriate behaviour stopped thereafter,” she added.


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