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John Barrowman was wrong to deny his "silly behaviour" of the past was sexual harassment in his attempts to move on from recent allegations against him, Time's Up UK has said.
The 54-year-old actor has admitted to previously exposing himself to cast and crew while working on Doctor Who spin-off show Torchwood but referred to the behaviour as "tomfoolery" and said he understands such behaviour is no longer acceptable.
Time's Up UK — which campaigns for safe and dignified workplaces for all — has refuted Barrowman's claim that he did not commit sexual harassment.
A spokesperson for the organisation told Variety: "The assertion by John Barrowman that his well-documented actions do not constitute sexual harassment reveals yet again the need for the entertainment industry to underline and reassert expected standards of behaviour of which this is wholly unacceptable.
"Flashing people IS sexual harassment and it is never funny.”
Watch: John Barrowman discuss accusations of sexual misconduct
Barrowman told ITV’s Lorraine this week: “I think that if it was now, it would be crossing the line. I think that something that happened 15 years ago, it was bawdy behaviour, silly behaviour, it was being done in the confines of the set, and we were like a family, working together. The fact that it was stories that I’ve already told. I’ve been telling them for years.
"I haven’t hidden anything, they’ve been exaggerated, and they’ve tried to turn them into sexual harassment which it absolutely is not."
The former Dancing On Ice judge added that he wanted a second chance to show he had changed.
He said: “The one thing for me, all the people that are making the fuss about it, they weren’t there, they don’t know the context of things that were done.
"I would never do it now but what we’re not allowing people and myself to do… we’re not allowing people to learn to adapt and to change, and that’s the most important thing.”
Various allegations of Barrowman exposing himself to his colleagues in stage and TV productions have emerged, but he has insisted it was done to make people feel at ease.
He said: "As Captain Jack Harkness I was the star of Torchwood, so I felt it was down to me to lead the company and keep them entertained.
"I'd be waiting in my trailer wearing just a robe with a sock over my parts.
"Then, if I were standing waiting to film a scene where I needed to be nude and someone came into view, I'd make a joke to put them and myself at ease.
"My actions were simply designed to defuse any potential awkwardness among the cast and crew."
Watch: John Barrowman speaks out on harassment claims