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John Barrowman says he was fired for refusing to hide being gay in the 1990s

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  • John Barrowman says he was fired for refusing to hide being gay in the 1990s

    Actor John Barrowman is such a stalwart of British telly it's hard to imagine him anywhere else.

    But before breaking through to the UK with his Doctor Who role, the 1990s saw John trying the crack the US TV scene.

    Now he's claimed that he was sacked from his first big role, Central Park West on US network CBS, after producers called him in and asked him to hide his sexuality.

    John, who is gay, was with now-husband Scott at the time, and says he refused to stop being seen with his lover and talking about their relationship.

    This, John claims, resulted in the team writing him out of the show.

    He writes in The Daily Mail : "In 1995, I got one of my first big telly jobs, on a US series called Central Park West.

    "Up until then I hadn't publicly talked about coming out. I was living with my boyfriend, Scott, now my husband, in Chelsea, New York, I worked in musical theatre and we had a dog — I mean, how many more clues do you need?

    "Midway through the first season, I was called in by the producers. They asked me if I would not talk about being gay."

    John continues: "I was told that one of the best things that could happen would be if I was pictured collapsed in a gutter with a prostitute.

    "One of the strangest things is that I was being asked to do this by a man, a producer, who I knew was gay.

    He adds that he refused to capitulate, and upon receiving the new scripts, saw that his character was to suffer burns in a fire and then be recast.

    "I'd been fired," he concluded

    Being "fired", John goes on, made him strive harder for the roles that he's now best known for.

    Aside from his beloved role as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who, he's perhaps best known for his spot on the Dancing On Ice judging panel.

    The Mirror has reached out to CBS for comment.

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