Bulletproof, the Sky One British cop show starring Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, has been cancelled. This follows the accusations of sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying made by more than 20 women against Clarke from 2004 to 2019. The series, pitched as "Bad Boys in London", is an escapist fantasy featuring streetwise cops in South London who get to run around with guns and get in car chases in ways that never happen in real life.
A spokesperson for Sky, which is owned by Comcast, said in a statement, "Sky will not be proceeding with any further series of Bulletproof." Meanwhile, production company Vertigo Films has also said it "will not make any future series of Bulletproof."
Variety reported that an 8-episode 4th season of Bulletproof had already been commissioned and was in pre-production when The Guardian broke the news about Clarke on April 29th. Sky immediately suspended any work on the series — and other work with Clarke — and has been holding internal discussions ever since about what to do with it.
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. Even more women have come forth with allegations since the publication of the Guardian report. Clarke has "vehemently" denied all allegations made against him. Not only was work on Bulletproof halted immediately, but Clarke was also dropped by CAA and his management company.
Sky was said to have explored a number of options to continue Bulletproof, including recasting Clarke's character Aaron Bishop, in order to protect the jobs of the rest of the cast and crew. In the end, they decided that continuing the show just wasn't viable, as Clarke was heavily intertwined with the show. He created and co-wrote the scripts with co-star Ashley Walters.
Sources indicate, however, that Sky might offer opportunities to the show's on and off-screen talent on other Sky shows in the future.
Variety reported that Sky made its decision based on findings from an internal investigation carried out by Bulletproof producers Vertigo. It was also aware of other allegations made anonymously against Clarke to several organizations this month.
Vertigo's investigation is still ongoing. The production company said that it was keen to speak to as many people involved in the production of Bulletproof as it could. The show wasn't solely produced by Vertigo: Company Pictures was involved in season 1, and Clarke's All3Media-backed production company Unstoppable has also been credited through all three seasons so far. All3Media's probe into Unstoppable is still ongoing.
In the U.S., Bulletproof was picked up by The CW, but the network pulled the show from its CW Seed streaming service on April 30, just a day after the allegations emerged. The CW only paid for the US broadcast rights to the completed seasons without contributing to the production costs. Live broadcast ratings on the CW were so low that it probably made no great difference to yank the show. The network can always find another show to broadcast, whether its own or an import from the UK or Canada.