I May Destroy You Star Michaela Coel Sends Her Support To Noel Clarke Accusers
Michaela Coel has shown her support for the 20 women who have accused Noel Clarke of sexual misconduct and bullying, saying that ‘speaking out about these incidents takes a lot of strength.’
Coel, whose hit show I May Destroy You explores rape and sexual assault trauma, posted a statement offering ‘great support for the 20 brave women’ who went public with allegations against the Kidulthood actor dating back to 2004.
She wrote: ‘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 writer and actor expressed specific sympathy for the women of colour who came forward, writing that ‘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 has previously acknowledged that I May Destroy You was inspired by her own experience of sexual assault, and in a 2018 lecture said the media industry needed to do more to protect victims of misconduct and abuse.
Having shared a link to the story shortly after The Guardian first broke news of the allegations yesterday evening, April 29, Coel in her statement also expressed her support for those behind the investigation, saying ‘I applaud the Guardian and its journalists for investigating and publishing this story.’
The Guardian has released details of allegations spanning 15 years made by 20 women who have accused Noel Clarke of sexual assault, harassment, inappropriate behaviour and bullying. The investigation comes just weeks after Clarke was awarded with an honorary Bafta for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema – a prize The Guardian claims Bafta presented to Clarke after it had been informed of anonymous allegations against the actor.
Shortly after the story’s publication, Bafta announced it had suspended Clarke and his recent award. In a statement, Clarke said ‘I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.’
Responding to the allegations, Times Up UK said: ‘Times Up U.K. is live and alert to the types of behaviors and alleged serious misconduct raised in The Guardian regarding Noel Clarke, behaviors which have for so long gone unchecked, behaviors which have preyed on young talent especially when they are at their most vulnerable.’
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
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