Actor-producer Noel Clarke has been accused of being a sexual predator by 20 women.
Clarke is best known for his work in projects such as Doctor Who and Kidulthood, and was recently awarded the 2021 BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.
The Guardian has carried out an investigation however, from which they found that thirteen days before Clarke was awarded his BAFTA, the awards ceremony was informed of the existence of multiple allegations against Clarke. The BAFTAs have acknowledged they did receive anonymous emails and reports of allegations, however they claim they were provided with no evidence that would enable an investigation.
Following the ceremony, The Guardian spoke to 20 women who all knew Clarke in a professional capacity. These women have accused him of sexual harassment, groping, inappropriate behaviour, professional misconduct, taking and sharing sexually explicit footage without consent, and bullying between 2004 and 2019.
Clarke responded to these allegations with a statement in which he maintained his innocence:
“In a 20-year career, I have put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of my work and never had a complaint made against me. If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise. I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.”
His lawyers have also released a 29-page letter, in which they state he categorically denies all but one of the allegations
Following the publication of The Guardian’s findings, the BAFTAs confirmed that the provision of “detailed accounts outlining serious allegations regarding Noel Clarke’s conduct” had now led them to “immediately suspended the award and Noel Clarke’s membership of Bafta until further notice.”
Actress and writer Michaela Coel has since released a statement in support of the women.
— Michaela Coel (@MichaelaCoel) April 30, 2021
Coel recently appeared in the series ‘I May Destroy You’, which she also directed, and was based upon her own experience of sexual assault.
Others have also expressed their shock and disappointment at the news.
I am so upset about this. I have always rooted for Noel Clarke, for what he stood for and what he contributed. I am so disappointed. Love to the women who shared their truth.
— Hanna Ines Flint (@HannaFlint) April 29, 2021
At least Doctor Who provided us with the perfect scene for the Noel Clarke situation pic.twitter.com/txzLZSegbQ
— Andrej (@AndrejNkv) April 29, 2021
Some have also called out the BAFTAs for continuing to award Clarke despite having knowledge of the allegations.
Bafta urgently needs to address why they chose to publicly honour Noel Clark apparently 13 days after first being made aware of allegations against him, and why they only announced Clarke's suspension + that they were investigating after the Guardian piece was published.
— Roisin O'Connor (@Roisin_OConnor) April 29, 2021
If we're on the topic of Noel Clarke, can we also address how the BAFTA's have overlooked serious allegations yet again? They knew about this and still awarded him. The industry needs to change. Ignoring is allowing.
— Jessica Howkins (@JessicaHowkins_) April 29, 2021
Others have recalled the past feud between Clarke and Adam Deacon, the latter of which suffered a breakdown and was blacklisted by the industry after accusing Clarke of bullying him previously.
Adam Deacon said years ago that Noel Clarke had bullied him and speaking out resulted in him being blacklisted and having a breakdown. Believe victims.
— Maisey Bawden (@MaiseyBawden) April 29, 2021
Amidst these Noel Clarke allegations, I'm thinking of Adam Deacon right now.
He blew the whistle a LONG time ago and was laughed at.
— Sweet Salone Jollof (@MissMarthaEva) April 29, 2021
What are your thoughts on this situation? Let us know @PieRadioUK