John Barrowman, who returned to Doctor Who as Jack Harkness last year, apologizes for his behavior on the show's set during his original run and while working on its spinoff series Torchwood. Amid allegations against fellow Doctor Who star Noel Clarke of sexual harassment on that show's set and others, a 2014 clip of Clarke humorously recounting how Barrowman would expose himself to members of the sci-fi show's production resurfaced. In a statement provided to The Guardian, Barrowman admitted to "tomfoolery" but said he wasn't aware of Clarke's alleged misbehavior. Sources contacted by The Guardian back up accusations against both Doctor Who stars but characterize Barrowman's behavior on set as "larking about" and "joking" compared to Clarke's more predatory actions.
One runner who worked on Doctor Who during the era in question recalled Barrowman's behavior. "He would get his genitals out on a regular basis … he'd just sort of have his balls hanging out his trousers or something, which he just thought was really funny," she said.
Another said, "Sometimes he'd call me into his dressing room, and I would knock on the door and he'd say, 'Oh, look at this', and he'd just have his willy out, standing in the doorway," she said. "It was kind of accepted that it was his thing," she said. This runner made clear that she wasn't made to feel unsafe by Barromwan's behavior. "It just felt really uncomfortable," she said.
In his statement, Barrowman states that his "high-spirited behaviour" was "only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage" He goes on to say that, "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."
That 2008 apology game during a BBC 1 Radio interview. At the time, he said, "I apologise for any offence I have caused. I was joining in the light-hearted and fun banter of the show, and went too far."
Doctor Who executive producer Julie Gardner says she received a complaint about Barrowman's behavior on the Torchwood set in 2008 and spoke to him and the other franchise executive producers, Barrowman's agent, and the BBC's head drama commissioning. "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 … To my knowledge, John's inappropriate behaviour stopped thereafter."
"In my experience on Torchwood John's behaviour 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. It maybe 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. The John I knew on set would have never behaved in a way he thought was affecting someone negatively. 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."