Brits pulls Viewpoint after allegations envelop Noel Clarke
ABC has Australian rights to drama starring actor at the centre of multiple allegations.
ABC screening an upcoming UK drama, Viewpoint, just got a whole lot more complicated after headlines surrounding star Noel Clarke (Bulletproof, Doctor Who).
Clarke apologised after a report by the Guardian made numerous sexual harassment and bullying allegations by 20 women.
The Guardian spoke with 20 women who have worked with Clarke in a professional setting, all of whom have made a number of allegations. They include: 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.
Clarke has, through his lawyers, denied all the allegations, except for one allegation. He has admitted to once making inappropriate comments about one woman, and later apologising.
He said in a statement: “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 apologize. I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.”
But the saga has nonetheless had considerable fallout.
BAFTA, which had awarded him an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award, suspended his membership.
BAFTA said in a statement: “In light of the allegations of serious misconduct regarding Noel Clarke in The Guardian this evening, BAFTA has taken the decision to suspend his membership and the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award immediately and until further notice.”
All3Media, backers of Clarke’s production company Unstoppable Film and Television, is conducting its own probe of Clarke.
“We have a zero tolerance approach to abuse, bullying and harassment,” said an All3Media spokesperson. “We take allegations of this kind extremely seriously and are looking into this as a matter of urgency.”
ITV has boldly decided to hold off screening the final episode of Viewpoint, but will offer the final episode online for a limited time for viewers wanting a conclusion.
“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,” a statement read.
“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.”
Sky TV has also halted work with Clarke on Season 4 of Bulletproof and any other projects.
“Sky stands against all forms of sexual harassment and bullying and takes any allegations of this nature extremely seriously,” a Sky representative said. “Effective immediately, we have halted Noel Clarke’s involvement in any future Sky productions.”
Bulletproof co-star Ashley Walters said, “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,” said “Top Boy” star Walters in a statement shared to social media on Friday afternoon.
“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.”
Viewpoint was recently picked up for screening in Australia by ABC.