Actor and filmmaker Noel Clarke has been suspended by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) after 20 women complained of sexual harassment against him. According to the investigative article The Guardian, several women both on and off the case share their testimonies of work script, suspected inappropriate behavior by Noel Clarke, secretly filming him a naked actress during an audition, making an approach undesirable towards women among various stories. In the article, Clarke denied the allegations.
The PA News Agency released a statement from Noel Clarke which read, “I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or criminal act. However, recent reports have made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways that I did not intend or achieve. To these people, I am deeply sorry. I will seek professional help to educate myself and change for the better. “
BAFTA suspended Noel Clarke and revoked his recent award. “In light of allegations of serious misconduct regarding Noel Clarke in The Guardian, BAFTA has made the decision to suspend its membership and the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award immediately and until further notice,” the statement read . BAFTA President and CEO Krishnendu Majumdar and Amanda Berry respectively issued an elaborate statement after the news broke.
FULL BAFTA STATEMENT
You may have seen the story in today’s Guardian regarding BAFTA member and recent Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema (OBCC) award recipient Noel Clarke. We are grateful that The Guardian was able to provide a platform where victims were able to identify and come forward and tell their story.
As soon as The Guardian released firsthand accounts yesterday, we immediately suspended Noel Clarke’s award and BAFTA membership until further notice. We wanted to give you the background to this situation to give you the full picture.
To be very clear, we were not aware of any allegations regarding Noel Clarke until the OBCC award was announced on March 29. We want to assure you that we have treated this matter with the utmost seriousness, care and proper process at every step. The BAFTA Board of Directors has remained true to this issue, has met several times and fully supports all measures taken.
The allegations against Mr. Clarke are extremely serious and the behavior they allege is contrary to the values of BAFTA and everything it stands for. But as heinous as these allegations are, they cannot be dealt with without due process. BAFTA is an arts charity that is unable to properly investigate these matters.
In the days following the announcement, BAFTA received anonymous emails alleging allegations relating to Noel Clarke. These were anonymous or second or third hand accounts through intermediaries. No first-hand allegations were sent to us. No name, time, date, production or other details were ever provided.
If the victims had been recorded as they did with The Guardian, the sentence would have been immediately suspended. Noel Clarke’s lawyer has received legal advice to this effect. Our intentions were always very clear.
We asked individuals to present their accounts and identify themselves, as they did with The Guardian, but due to the anonymous claims and lack of first-hand specificity, we did not have sufficient grounds to act. .
We fully understand why individuals were extremely afraid to identify with us and we recognize how difficult it is for victims to speak up. First, we encouraged them to report incidents to their representatives, employers and / or the police. We then gave further advice on organizations that could provide those affected with appropriate support.
In addition, we were aware of the difficulty in reporting these issues and, therefore, we set up an independent and suitably qualified person with whom victims could discuss the issues raised in a safe and confidential environment.
The expert has extensive experience working with people who have experienced sexual harassment, intimidation and abuse and who understand people’s fear and reluctance to identify with themselves. The expert is a leading advisor on establishing safe centers for women and is able to guide individuals through their different options. This process involved seeking advice on the right person, appointing them and fully briefing them. We wanted to make sure we had the right person in place.
We acted as quickly and with support as we could, even though we had only received the most generic claims and no first-hand information to investigate the allegations that were potentially criminal in nature.
Having received the same anonymous emails, Noel Clarke contacted BAFTA, urgently requesting a conversation and sending us numerous texts. We confronted him with the anonymous allegations, which he strongly denied.
Our lawyers have advised us every step of the way to make sure we have dealt with the issue correctly. Since we did not have any of the personal testimonies produced by The Guardian, we found ourselves in an unpleasant situation and it would have been inappropriate to stay the sentence at that time based on the extremely limited information available to us when the sources ultimate were unknown.
As you know, BAFTA took action against people who have been accused of similar behavior in the past, but in these cases we were able to do so because there was evidence that enabled us to act. .
We very much regret that women felt unable to provide us with the kind of first-hand testimony that has now appeared in The Guardian. If we had received this, we would never have presented the award to Noel Clarke.
Creative Artists Agency, one of the largest talent management agencies, has dumped Noel Clarke over allegations of misconduct. His managers in the United States, Industry Entertainment and UK managers 42, have also let him down as their client.
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