The Guardian dropped a bombshell this week with its investigation into Noel Clarke and the 20 women that allege sexual harassment, bullying and verbal abuse.
Since the story’s release, Clarke has been suspended from BAFTA after receiving his award. Sky suspended their work relationship with Clarke until further notice and most of Clarke’s projects have been suspended as well and his management has dropped him.
Other Black Brits in the industry are now weighing in on the developments. I May Destroy You creator and star Michaela Coel published a statement in response to the claims, offering “great support for the 20 brave women who have come forward.” Coel continued, stating that “speaking out about these incidents takes a lot of strengths because some call it ‘grey areas.’ They are however far from “grey.”
— Michaela Coel (@MichaelaCoel) April 30, 2021
Clarke’s close collaborator and Bulletproof co-star Ashley Walters said that he is “deeply saddened” and that even though he and Clarke are friends, he “cannot stand by and ignore the allegations” nor could he “condone behaviour of this nature neither in or out of the workplace.”
Walters’ full statement reads, “My thoughts are with the women who have come forward and told their awful stories. I’m 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 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.”
Clarke has also released a statement about the allegations himself. It reads, “I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing. Recent reports however have made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise. To those individuals, I am deeply sorry. I will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better.”