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29th Apr 2021

Bafta suspends Noel Clarke after harassment claims

Reuben Pinder

The actor and director vehemently denies the allegations

Bafta has suspended Noel Clarke’s membership after numerous allegations of verbal abuse, bullying and sexual harassment were made against the Kidulthood and Doctor Who star.

Clarke received a prestigious Bafta award last week and received props for his acceptance speech.

But the Guardian is reporting that almost a fortnight before the awards ceremony, Bafta were informed of the allegations but said it was provided with no evidence that would allow it to investigate.

The accusations, which Clarke denies, allege that he abused his power in the showbiz industry.

In the Guardian’s report, the newspaper claims to have spoken to 20 women, who accuse Clarke of sexually inappropriate behaviour and bullying over a 15-year time frame.

Clarke has denied every allegation put to him as a result of the newspaper’s investigation.

In a statement, the 45-year-old said: “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.”

Bafta confirmed in a statement to the Guardian that following the announcement on 29 March of its intention to give Clarke one of its biggest prizes, the organisation received “anonymous emails and reports of allegations via intermediaries, but no evidence was provided” that would allow it to investigate.

Bafta’s lawyers said that the charity had no duty to investigate Clarke, was never given any information to enable it to do so and wasn’t it in a position where it could even begin to consider investigating.

We take this matter extremely seriously,” Bafta added. “We encouraged the people who contacted us to report the matter to the appropriate authorities and also engaged an independent victim support expert to provide them with professional advice, and that support remains in place.

“We will continue to review this matter, and should any allegations be substantiated we will take appropriate action.”

After the publication of the newspaper report, on 29 April, Bafta said it was suspending his membership and the recently awarded honour “immediately and until further notice”.

In the updated statement, Bafta said it made the decision “in light of the allegations of serious misconduct” in the Guardian.