Actor John Barrowman admitted to “tomfoolery” last week following accusations that he used to expose himself to cast and crew members on the set of Doctor Who as well as its spin-off series Torchwood. Now, his Torchwood co-star Gareth David-Lloyd has come to his defense, but it doesn’t seems to be helping matters. In fact, it only seems to be making things worse.
In a statement over the weekend, David-Lloyd says Barrowman’s behavior, which allegedly included flashing people, slapping his penis against a car window, and draping his genitalia over someone’s shoulder while they were sitting in a chair, was all done in good fun.
“In my experience on Torchwood John’s behavior on set was always meant to entertain, make people laugh and keep their spirits and energy high on what were sometimes very long working days,” he said.
“It may be that because we were so close as a cast that professional lines were sometimes blurred in the excitement–I was too inexperienced to know any different but we were always laughing.”
Hmmm. We’re not sure long hours and being “excited” makes it OK to expose yourself to your co-workers, no matter how “close” you may think you are.
The actor went on to say the doesn’t believe Barrowman ever intended to cause harm to anyone with his on set antics.
“The John I knew on set would have never behaved in a way he thought was affecting someone negatively,” David-Lloyd said.
“From what I know of him, that is not his nature. He was a whirlwind of positive energy, always very generous, kind and a wonderfully supportive lead actor to have at the helm of the show.”
This jives with what Barrowman’s accusers told The Guardian last week when they described his behavior as “larking about” and “joking” but, they said, it still made them “uncomfortable.”
In a statement, Barrowman admitted to engaging in “tomfoolery” on the set of both Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood, but he said that he no longer behaves that way in the workplace.
He went on to claim that his “high-spirited behavior” was “only ever intended in good humor to entertain colleagues on set and backstage.”
“With the benefit of hindsight, I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behavior and I have apologized for this previously,” he said, referring to an apology he issued in 2008 after he pulled down his pants during an interview.
Meanwhile, the BBC says it is investigating the accusations against Barrowman, as well as his Doctor Who co-star Noel Clark, who is also accused of sexual misconduct on set.
A spokesperson for the network issued a statement saying:
The BBC is against all forms of inappropriate behavior and we’re shocked to hear of these allegations. To be absolutely clear, we will investigate any specific allegations made by individuals to the BBC — and if anyone has been subjected to or witnessed inappropriate behavior of any kind we would encourage them to raise it with us directly. We have a zero tolerance approach and robust processes are in place — which are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect best practice — to ensure any complaints or concerns are handled with the utmost seriousness and care.
David-Lloyd may think Barrowman’s behavior was totally fine, but most people on Twitter seem to feel otherwise. We’re guessing he may regret weighing on the matter…
I can’t believe Gareth David Lloyd is defending him
— LilNardoDaVinci (@LilNardoDaVinci) May 9, 2021
So, according to actor John Barrowman, repeatedly exposing yourself to work colleagues on the set of a TV show is ‘tomfoolery’? Interesting.
— Edward Baran (@edward_baran) May 7, 2021
— theskink (@theskink) May 8, 2021
Not sure what disgusts me more, the appalling behaviour of Barrowman or other men jumping to his defence. Gareth David-Lloyd speaks out on John Barrowman's on-set behaviour https://t.co/A80pYj5Kkf via @DailyMailCeleb
— Just_Me ?????? (@Pendles_Nina) May 9, 2021
If I ever get a job on a contract with @JohnBarrowman do I really need to add 'no penis in my face' as a clause to my contract? Is this where we are at now?
BURN IT ALL DOWN
— Helen Raw (@helenraw) May 8, 2021
Gets his penis out and hits it against unwilling participants. Sounds like a pervert to me.
— G Diddy (@GDiddy57440486) May 10, 2021
So #GarethDavidLloyd is now making excuses for #JohnBarrowman & I'm disgusted. Why do people think #JohnBarrowman behaving the way he did & still probably does is ok?Gareth David-Lloyd speaks out on John Barrowman's on-set behaviour https://t.co/fik48GzOzY via @DailyMailCeleb
— Lelizer91 (@Lelizer91) May 9, 2021
So repeatedly getting your cock out in a workplace is just “tomfoolery” according to John Barrowman. Vile, disgusting excuse of a man. The Noel Clarke allegations are horrific of course but Barrowman's behaviour is equally abhorrent. https://t.co/aXOAK6ff1a
— Amy ?? (@geordiegalg) May 7, 2021
— Scrat_Man (@Write_Wrongs) May 9, 2021
Tomfoolery. My definition of that somewhat at odds with John Barrowman's interpretation. But hey, we're all different.
— Francis Cottam (@fgcottam) May 7, 2021
Why are people excusing this behaviour? Have I missed something? Exposing your penis in a workplace is sexual harassment. https://t.co/nGIXBEpt4s
— poppycat (@poppyca28972829) May 9, 2021
Actor John Barrowman admits repeatedly (so not just once) exposing his penis while making Dr Who – describing it as ‘tomfoolery’. That might be how he saw it, but the impact on others is what matters and it was wrong (criminal ) in 2008 as much as it is today .
— Mark Williams-Thomas (@mwilliamsthomas) May 8, 2021
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.