BAFTA has issued a prolonged assertion to its members this morning following a backlash in opposition to its resolution to award Noel Clarke an honorary BAFTA regardless of being made conscious of misconduct allegations in opposition to the actor.
In a memo despatched to members this morning and seen by Deadline, BAFTA mentioned:
“You’ll have seen the story in at the moment’s Guardian relating to BAFTA member and up to date Excellent British Contribution to Cinema (OBCC) award recipient Noel Clarke.
We’re grateful that The Guardian was capable of present a platform the place the victims had been capable of establish themselves, and to return ahead and inform their tales.
As quickly as The Guardian revealed firsthand accounts yesterday we instantly suspended the award and Noel Clarke’s membership of BAFTA till additional discover.
Michaela Coel Feedback On Noel Clarke Misconduct Allegations: “They Are Far From Gray”
We wished to tell you of the background to this example to provide the full image.
To be very clear, we didn’t find out about any allegations regarding Noel Clarke previous to the announcement of the OBCC award on 29 March.
We need to reassure you that we have now handled this matter with the utmost seriousness, care and correct course of at each stage. The BAFTA Board of Trustees has remained proper throughout this matter, has met numerous occasions and are totally supportive of all actions taken.
The allegations in opposition to Mr Clarke are extraordinarily critical and the behaviour they allege are opposite to BAFTA’s values and every thing it stands for. However regardless of how abhorrent these allegations are, they can’t be handled with out due course of. BAFTA is an arts charity that’s not able to correctly examine such issues.
Within the days following the announcement, BAFTA obtained nameless emails of allegations in relation to Noel Clarke. These had been both nameless or second or thirdhand accounts through intermediaries. No firsthand allegations had been despatched to us. No names, occasions, dates, productions or different particulars had been ever supplied.
Had the victims gone on report as they’ve with The Guardian, the award would have been suspended instantly. Noel Clarke’s counsel obtained a authorized discover to this impact. It was all the time very clear what our intentions could be.
We requested for people to return ahead with their accounts and establish themselves, as they’ve performed with The Guardian, however because of the nameless claims and the dearth of firsthand specificity, we didn’t have ample grounds to take motion.
We utterly perceive why the people had been extraordinarily fearful to establish themselves to us, and we recognise how laborious it’s for victims to talk up. First, we inspired them to report the incidents to their representatives, employers and/or the police. We then gave additional recommendation as to which organisations might present affected people with acceptable assist.
Moreover, we had been acutely aware of how laborious it’s to report these points and in consequence we put in place an impartial, appropriately certified particular person with whom the victims might talk about the problems raised in a secure and confidential setting.
The skilled has an enormous quantity of expertise working with people who’ve suffered sexual harassment, bullying and abuse and who understands the worry and reluctance of people to establish themselves. The skilled is a number one advisor on establishing secure centres for ladies and is ready to lead people by means of their totally different choices. This course of concerned looking for recommendation on the right particular person, appointing them and totally briefing them. We wished to make sure that we had the correct particular person in place.
We acted as shortly and supportively as we might, though we had solely obtained probably the most generic of claims and no precise firsthand data to analyze allegations which had been probably of a felony nature.
Having obtained the identical nameless emails, Noel Clarke contacted BAFTA, urgently requesting a dialog and sending quite a few texts to do. We confronted him with the nameless allegations, which he strongly denied.
Our legal professionals have suggested us each step of the way in which throughout this course of to make sure we dealt with the matter appropriately. Provided that we didn’t have any of the non-public testimony that The Guardian produced we had been in an invidious scenario and it will have been improper to halt the award at that time primarily based on the extraordinarily restricted data that we had the place the last word sources had been unknown.
As you’re conscious, BAFTA has taken motion in opposition to people who’ve been accused of comparable behaviour previously however in these instances we had been in a position to take action as a result of there was proof that allowed us to take motion.
We very a lot remorse that girls felt unable to offer us with the sort of firsthand testimony that has now appeared in The Guardian. Had we been in receipt of this, we’d by no means have offered the award to Noel Clarke.”
The Guardian final evening revealed an exposé containing each on and off-the-record testimony from quite a few ladies who’ve labored with the Bulletproof and Star Trek actor on movie and TV tasks, with allegations starting from inappropriate touching and sharing undesirable sexual photographs to secretly filming a unadorned actress throughout an audition.
Clarke vehemently denies the claims, a few of which BAFTA was made conscious of virtually two weeks earlier than they gave the actor his BAFTA for Excellent Contribution To British Cinema earlier this month.
For the reason that article was revealed, BAFTA has suspended Clarke and withdrawn the award. However the group has been going through a rising torrent of questions from business and politicians over why it didn’t take extra decisive motion to analyze the allegations.
We reached out to the organisation final evening and once more this morning for additional remark or rationalization.
Yesterday, The Guardian reported that, “Legal professionals for Bafta mentioned the charity had no obligation to analyze Clarke, however, in any case, it was by no means given any data to allow it to take action and at no stage was it able the place it might even start to contemplate investigating.”
Shadow Northern Eire Minister Alex Davies Jones mentioned late final evening that “if BAFTA gave Noel Clarke an ‘excellent contribution award’ regardless of figuring out concerning the allegations in opposition to him then there are critical questions that want answering instantly”:
If @BAFTA gave Noel Clarke an ‘excellent contribution award’ regardless of figuring out concerning the allegations in opposition to him then there are critical questions that want answering instantly. https://t.co/RJMLIP2VhF
— Alex Davies-Jones MP (@AlexDaviesJones) April 29, 2021
Labour MP Stella Creasy mentioned there are some “very uncomfortable questions for BAFTA” following the article.
This makes for laborious studying and a few very uncomfortable questions for organisations like @BAFTA and @SkyStudios – highly effective reporting from @thedalstonyears and @Lucy_Osborne and staff 👇🏼 #noelclarke https://t.co/NEpvAR640z
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) April 29, 2021
Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins informed radio station LBC this morning that organisations must look very fastidiously on the ‘conduct and behavior’ of individuals they’re giving awards to.
‘Was BAFTA proper to honour Noel Clarke in the event that they had been conscious of those sexual allegations?’
Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins tells LBC organisations must look very fastidiously on the ‘conduct and behavior’ of individuals they’re giving awards to.@NickFerrariLBC pic.twitter.com/uzaveDuMC7
— LBC (@LBC) April 30, 2021
The backlash has additionally been sharp from business. BAFTA-nominee Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man) mentioned on Twitter it’s “time for BAFTA to reply some critical questions”.
Time for @BAFTA to reply some critical questions
— Frank Cottrell-Boyce (@frankcottrell_b) April 30, 2021
Newsreader and broadcaster India Willoughby questioned why BAFTA “ploughed on” with the award:
— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) April 29, 2021
BAFTA-winning producer Chris Hees mentioned on social media that BAFTA “needs to be ashamed of themselves”:
Learn the article, be a part of the combat. Don’t be like @BAFTA who needs to be ashamed of themselves! Your phrases are hole, as an organisation with energy to make a change you selected to disregard as an alternative of act! https://t.co/jh8chtKR81
— Chris Hees (@ChrisHees) April 30, 2021
UK producer producer Nisha Parti expressed an analogous sentiment:
Bravo @thedalstonyears and @guardian and all the ladies courageous sufficient to talk out. Really feel sickened and upset by the by no means ending tales and the lads who get away with it. And disgrace on @bafta for figuring out these rumours and awarding him anyway. Wtf 🤬 https://t.co/okwaooe4FI
— nisha parti (@partinator) April 29, 2021
As did BAFTA-nominated producer Elhum Shakerifar:
That article… I really feel sick. I query working in such a poisonous business each day & in some way each week there is a new depth to its merciless, seemingly countless, misogyny. Girls’s lives are destroyed by predators & their enablers. @BAFTA -what precisely is it that you simply strand for?
— Elhum Shakerifar (@lalalooms) April 29, 2021
BAFTA member and Breeders author Oriana Messina known as for extra clarification from BAFTA:
As a .@Bafta member I hope they will clarify their actions past their present “assertion”. In the event that they knew two weeks earlier than and did nothing I wish to learn a “assertion” from them, ABOUT THEM.
Bafta suspends Noel Clarke over harassment claims https://t.co/QHay2sROA9
— Oriane Messina 💙 (@orianemessina) April 29, 2021
In the meantime, critic Hanna Ines Flint questioned whether or not BAFTA nominees could protest in opposition to the group for rewarding Clarke.
to see how the TV BAFTAs play out. I Might Destroy You is likely one of the prime nominees however given its subject material, will the creators really feel snug to attend or probably settle for awards from an establishment that knowingly awarded an alleged sexual predator?
— Hanna Ines Flint (@HannaFlint) April 30, 2021
Broadcaster Willoughby was one among many to wonder if ITV will drop its Clarke-starring drama Viewpoint, which is airing this week.
Let’s see if ITV do the correct factor and drop tonight’s ultimate episode of Noel Clarke drama #Viewpoint , whereas the allegations are investigated. Massive on statements this yr. One for the ladies, seeing it’s a feminine oriented channel?
— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) April 30, 2021
Clarke has been dropped by all 4 of his U.S. and UK reps in latest weeks. All3Media, which backs his manufacturing firm Unstoppable Movie and Tv, has launched an investigation.
After having to hold out a significant evaluate because of a scarcity of variety in its awards and having confronted claims of racism from an actress on one among its variety schemes, that is the most recent inclusion drama to engulf BAFTA.