Noel Clarke, known to Doctor Who fans as Rose's ex-boyfriend Mickey Smith and one of the most high-profile figures in the UK Film and TV industry, has been accused by at least 20 women of sexual misconduct. This comes after Clarke received the British Film and Television Academy (BAFTA) Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award. BAFTA has since suspended his membership and award "immediately and until further notice." Clarke's other ongoing work, including production on the 4th season of his hit cop show for sky, Bulletproof, has been halted.
The Guardian published a highly detailed report on 29th April charting Clarke's alleged history of "sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate behaviour and comments on set, professional misconduct, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying between 2004 and 2019". His targets included actresses, producers, interns, assistants, screenwriters, and designers. Several of the women are high profile figures in the industry and have agreed to go on record, detailing the incidents in which Clarke allegedly behaved extremely inappropriately with them. The rest told their stories anonymously. Many of them told of Noel Clarke coercing them into filming gratuitous nude scenes and that he boasted of keeping hard drives of private photos and videos that he offered to share with male friends and colleagues.
In a letter sent to its members on Friday, Bafta defended its decision to go ahead with the presentation despite having received emails about Clarke's behaviour before the ceremony. "These were either anonymous or second or third-hand accounts via intermediaries," it said. "No first-hand allegations were sent to us. No names, times, dates, productions, or other details were ever provided."
"Had the victims gone on record as they have with The Guardian, the award would have been suspended immediately. Noel Clarke's counsel received a legal notice to this effect. It was always very clear what our intentions would be."
BAFTA described the allegations as "extremely serious" and said the alleged behaviour was "contrary to Bafta's values and everything it stands for."
"We completely understand why the individuals were extremely fearful to identify themselves to us, and we recognise how hard it is for victims to speak up," it said. But Bafta added that it was "an arts charity that is not in a position to properly investigate such matters."
Sky also issued a statement about the suspension of work on series 4 of Bulletproof:
"Sky stands against all forms of sexual harassment and bullying and takes any allegations of this nature extremely seriously. Effective immediately, we have halted Noah Clarke's involvement in any future Sky productions."
Vertigo Films, the UK producer behind Bulletproof, has launched an investigation into Noah Clarke's conduct, with a spokesperson saying: "Effective immediately, Noah Clarke is removed from any Vertigo Films production."
Clarke's Bulletproof co-star Ashley Walters responded to the allegations on Twitter:
"My thoughts are with the women who have come forward and told their awful stories; I am in shock and deeply saddened by what I have heard on a multitude of levels. I could never condone behaviour of this nature, neither in nor out of the workplace and whilst Noel has been a friend and a colleague for several years, I cannot stand by and ignore these allegations.
Sexual harassment, abuse, and bullying have no place in our industry. Every woman has the right to a safe workplace, and moving forward; I pledge my dedication to this."
Michaela Cole, who wrote, directed, and starred in I May Destroy You, which is partly on her experiences following her own assault, issued her own response to the news:
"I am here to offer great support to 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 in our own community can sometimes be too much.
Speaking out about these incidents takes a lot of strength because some call them 'grey areas.' They 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.
I applaud the Guardian and its journalists for investigating and publishing this story."
Noel Clarke himself has denied the allegations via his lawyers.
ITV will not air the 5th and final episode of Viewpoint, a cop thriller starring Clarke as the lead. The episode was originally scheduled to premiere on Friday 30th of April.
"ITV has a zero-tolerance policy to bullying, harassment, and victimisation and robust procedures in place to investigate and deal with any complaints. We strongly believe that everyone deserves to work in a supportive and safe environment," read a statement ITV shared with Variety.
"In light of the very serious nature of the allegations against Noel Clarke raised by 20 women in the Guardian's report, ITV has decided it is no longer appropriate to broadcast the final episode of the drama 'Viewpoint' on ITV main channel this evening.
"We are mindful that some of our viewers have already invested four hours of their time over the past four nights in following this thriller which was due to conclude this evening, and they have yet to see the final episode. As such, we plan to make it available on ITV Hub tonight for a limited time for any viewers who wish to seek it out and watch its conclusion."
Bulletproof has also been removed from the CW streaming app in the US as of Friday.