British actor-director Noel Clarke accused of sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying by 20 women

Noel Clarke said he would be seeking professional help to “change for the better,” days after the BAFTAs cancelled his membership award for outstanding British contribution to cinema

FP Staff May 01, 2021 13:23:00 IST
British actor-director Noel Clarke accused of sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying by 20 women

British actor-director Noel Clarke said Friday he would be seeking professional help to “change for the better,” after 20 women accused him of sexual harassment, intimidation and bullying.

Clarke, who starred in Doctor Who and created the film trilogy Kidulthood, Adulthood and Brotherhood, said he “vehemently” denied any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

“Recent reports, however, have made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise,” he said in a statement. “To those individuals, I am deeply sorry. I will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better.”

Clarke, 45, issued the statement a day after The Guardian newspaper said it had spoken to 20 women who accused him of misconduct including sexual harassment, unwanted touching, sexually inappropriate behaviour on set and bullying. The newspaper named several of the women.

After the allegations were published, Britain’s motion picture academy suspended Clarke’s membership and his award for outstanding British contribution to cinema, given to him earlier this month, “immediately and until further notice.”

Broadcaster Sky said it was halting work with Clarke, and television channel ITV pulled the final episode of the crime series “Viewpoint,” which stars Clarke and was due for broadcast on Friday. The broadcaster said it had “a zero-tolerance policy to bullying, harassment and victimisation.”

I May Destroy You creator and star Michaela Coel has offered her support to the 20 women who have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Clarke in an investigative report.

Coel, who charted her own trauma of sexual assault in her critically-acclaimed show, said she stands behind the "20 brave women" who have spoken out against Clarke, a powerful name in the British television and film industry.

“I am here to support great support for the 20 brave women who have come forward; those who have shared their identities with us, but also those who have preferred to use an alias; the mental hurdles a black woman must overcome to do such a thing as reveal their identity within a narrative of rape abuse or bullying at the hands of someone within our own community can sometimes be too much" Coel, 33, said in a statement, posted on Twitter.

She said speaking out about these incidents takes a lot of strength "because some call them ''grey areas".

"These are however far from grey. These behaviours are unprofessional, violent and can destroy a person's perception of themselves, their place in the world and their career irreparably. I have shared to show solidarity, to express my belief in them and to stand with them in their indignation.”

The actor-writer also applauded The Guardian for investigating and publishing the story.

(With inputs from agencies)

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