#MeToo Trends In UK After Noel Clarke Accused Of Harassment And Predatory Behaviour
#MeToo is trending in the UK amid allegations against Doctor Who star Noel Clarke, who’s been accused of groping, harassment and bullying by 20 women.
The Kidulthood actor, 45, was awarded the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the BAFTAs earlier this year. Not only has he now been suspended by the academy, but it’s also said to have known about the misconduct allegations even before giving him the prize.
Since emerging last night, April 29, the reaction from fans and commentators has been of immense disappointment, while calling for more accountability in the entertainment industry and beyond.
The allegations were revealed in an extensive report by The Guardian, featuring testimonies from the 20 women accusing him of predatory behaviour, sexual harassment and bullying on and off set between 2004 and 2019. He’s also been accused of sending sexually explicit photos without consent and filming naked auditions.
Zoe Margolis, author of Girl with a One-Track Mind, wrote: ‘Why are men always f*cking doing this to the women they work with? The British film industry needs a #MeToo awakening to stop these predatory men from operating in plain sight. No excuses: time’s up for this sh*t.’
Historian and author Rebecca Rideal also wrote: ‘In light of the Noel Clarke news, I’m interested to know if anyone else has been #MeToo’d by someone still working in the film and TV industry that they’re too scared to name publicly? *raises my own hand*.’
Film journalist and critic Hanna Innes Flint tweeted: ‘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.’
To share just one of the accounts of harassment, Gina Powell earlier worked with Clarke as a producer between 2014 and 2017. During this time, she said he’d originally planned to ‘f*ck her and fire her’, bragged about having explicit photos of himself and those he filmed in auditions – specifically, one with Brotherhood‘s Jahannah James.
James said: ‘I want people to know, because I hate the idea that he can secretly film young actresses – who have no idea that they’re not supposed to be getting naked in auditions – and go on to get a BAFTA.’
In a statement, Clarke 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 also issued a statement, which read: ‘In light of the allegations of serious misconduct regarding Noel Clarke in The Guardian, BAFTA has taken the decision to suspend his membership and the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award immediately and until further notice.’
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