In this related video, we look at the Game of Thrones series by the numbersIBTimes UK

He's one of the biggest heartthrobs on the planet with his smouldering looks and dishevelled hair, but now TV series Game of Thrones has endured the darker side of being a pin-up by claiming that "sexism towards men" exists in the film industry.

Best known for playing Jon Snow in the HBO hit show before being killed off at the end of season six, Harington divulged his feelings about being hired for his looks in a candid interview in The Sunday Times while discussing the treatment of female actresses in the world of showbusiness.

In his comments, he told the publication: "I think there is a double standard. If you said to a girl, 'Do you like being called a babe?' and she said, 'No, not really,' she'd be absolutely right.

"I like to think of myself as more than a head of hair or a set of looks," he added.

"It's demeaning. Yes, in some ways you could argue I've been employed for a look I have. But there's a sexism that happens towards men. There's definitely a sexism in our industry that happens towards women, and there is towards men as well. At some points during photoshoots when I'm asked to strip down, I felt that," Harington continued.

The actor, who has also played lead roles in the films Pompeii, Testament of Youth and Spooks: The Greater Good, as well as voicing the character of Eret in How to Train Your Dragon 2, has become a global icon since starring in GoT, and fans have speculated about a spin-off Jon Snow series despite the character being killed off last season.

Those rumours have since been denied by HBO, with the network claiming that no such statement was made from George R R Martin, author of the book based on the series A Song Of Ice And Fire, or from showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

"If that were to happen it would have to come from [showrunners Benioff and Weiss] really feeling something, or [author Martin] really feeling that it was the right thing to do," top programming executive Michael Lombardo told EW. "Not knowing how this particular story ends, I don't know. There are plenty of characters, secondary characters, [who] you could build a world around. We're always going to be drawn to a strong creative vision. But we are not going to do that unless we feel their passion," he added.

kit harington
Kit Harington has claimed there is sexism towards men in HollywoodGetty