August 5, 2014 12:24 pm

John Barrowman defends photo with social media celeb Nash Grier

John Barrowman, pictured in July 2014.

Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

TORONTO — Actor John Barrowman responded on Saturday to criticism he got after posing for a photo with homophobic social media celebrity Nash Grier.

“When I took the picture with Nash Grier I had no idea that he had made some homophobic comments,” said Barrowman in a message posted online.

The 47-year-old openly gay actor, currently starring in the made-in-Vancouver TV series Arrow, is seen with his arm around Grier, 16, in the photo taken at a Wizard World convention in San Antonio.

Barrowman suggested posing with Grier might have been a positive thing.

“He’s standing with one of the biggest gay guys in the world,” he said, “and if he doesn’t change his homophobic attitudes and doesn’t grow up, then he’s an a**hole.”

In July, Grier apologized for a now-deleted Vine in which he called AIDS a gay disease and then screamed a homophobic slur. On Twitter, Grier repeatedly used anti-gay slurs.

The teen, who has 9 million followers on Vine and 3 million on Twitter, said he was “young, ignorant, stupid, and in a bad place.”

On Saturday, Grier tweeted a timely question. “Why can’t everyone just be friends.”

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