Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Content Warning: This week Deb and Tansy have a difficult discussion on Noel Clarke, John Barrowman, toxic work environments, and how this can affect your fandom experience. It wasn’t fun, but it was important. We understand if you want to skip this one, but if you do listen, note that we discuss sexual harassment, assault, and workplace bullying.


April 29 Guardian Article by Sirin Kale and Lucy Osborne
May 7 Follow-up Guardian article by Sirin Kale and Lucy Osborne
Extra-special thanks to this week’s editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
Support Verity! on Patreon

Download or listen now

Comments on: "Extra! – The Noel Clarke Thing" (3)

  1. Major Inskeep said:

    This was a very good podcast concerning a very difficult subject. Thank you for confronting it head on. People who use their positions to take advantage of others should be called out and held to account, especially people with as much influence as celebrities or politicians. Thanks again for you honesty and insight.

  2. Icon_UK said:

    Thank you for this.

    I think any confidence I ever had in consequences and repercussions in the entertainment industry were sunk by the story of Victor Salva, who was convicted of sexually assaulting the 12 year old actor who was one of the stars of a movie he was directing, served jail time for it and even after all that, was allowed to direct movies with a young cast AGAIN (Both “Powder” and the “Jeepers Creepers” franchise).

    I fervently hope this will change.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to talk through this. I appreciated your acknowledgement that we have all, at one time or another, looked past what John Barrowman was doing with an ‘oh Barrowman’ – even though what he was doing was by any objective standard wrong. Contextualisation as part of theatre culture is no excuse, even as it helps us to understand where the behaviour comes from.

    In all of this I find it difficult to find a consistent personal line through. Noel Clarke’s alleged abuses are without any question to be condemned. But Barrowman was pulled up more than a decade ago. If he has indeed grown up, how do we act now? I am not sure whether the current cancellation of some Captain Jack projects is ethically correct – though it may be commercially pragmatic.

    Other than the critical issue of justice for Clarke’s victims, what is weighing most on my mind is the role of the production leadership in the noughties. I think that Tansy was perhaps overly forgiving of RTD and his ‘listen and learn’ statement. It would help if he and Julie Gardner and the other producers of that time were to address the issue more directly. What sort of environment was it when David Tennant – who reportedly was not a fan of John’s ‘antics’ – still thought it was OK to reference it in a song?

    What ultimately might be most useful for me is to centre the perspectives of those who were affected, and who have the least power. Do the people – mostly women – who were affected by Barrowman’s antics feel that there has been justice? What is perhaps hardest in this is that the circle of those affected is now much wider than it was at the time. Having your illusions shattered, no matter when the event took place, is traumatic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: