Noel Clarke ‘seeking professional help’ after harassment claims
Written by Hitmix News on 1 May 2021
Noel Clarke has said he is “seeking professional help” following allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.
The actor and director said in a statement the claims had “made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise”.
He added: “To those individuals, I am deeply sorry. I will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better.”
“I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing,” he said.
ITV has said it will not air the final episode of its drama show Viewpoint, which Clarke is starring in, on Friday evening following the allegations.
A spokesperson for ITV said it had decided it was “no longer appropriate” to show the episode after 20 women made claims to The Guardian.
“ITV has a zero tolerance policy to bullying, harassment and victimisation and robust procedures are in place to investigate and deal with any complaints. We strongly believe that everyone deserves to work in a supportive and safe environment,” the broadcaster said.
The episode – the final in the five-part police drama series – was scheduled to be shown at 9pm.
Thursday night’s episode was the most popular programme in its time slot with around 3.5 million viewers, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board.
Viewers had earlier criticised ITV for not pulling the episode after the allegations came to light.
Image: The actor has ‘vehemently’ denied the claims
Clarke, 45, has been accused of sexual harassment and bullying spanning a number of years.
Sky News has spoken to four women who worked with Clarke and said they were not surprised by the allegations.
One woman working in film publicity said the actor was always trying to sleep with her, but she did not want to speak publicly because it would affect her career.
Two other women who have worked with him on several projects said they were not surprised by the claims and everyone knew what Clarke’s behaviour was like.
Much of it was brushed off as harmless or as a joke at the time, one of the women said.
Film producer Gina Powell, who worked with Clarke between 2014 and 2017 and made claims against the actor in The Guardian, told Sky News via text message that she did not want to go through the trauma of repeating her story.
Image: Noel Clark (right) starred in Bulletproof
ITV said it would make the final episode of Viewpoint available on its catch-up service ITV Hub “for a limited time” so that viewers could still watch the conclusion to the series.
“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,” it said.
ITV is the latest company to distance itself from the actor, after Sky and production company Vertigo Films dropped Clarke from any future productions.
Sky has said it “stands against all forms of sexual harassment and bullying and takes any allegations of this nature extremely seriously”.
The actor had been commissioned to star in a fourth season of Sky show Bulletproof, but he has now been removed from the programme.
Vertigo Films, which produces Bulletproof, said it was “devastated” by the allegations.
The British Film Institute (BFI) released a statement saying it was “extremely concerned” about the allegations, adding it was “deeply sorry for anyone affected by such behaviour”.
BAFTA has also suspended Clarke’s membership and revoked his recent award, calling the allegations “abhorrent”.
The actor was handed the outstanding British contribution to cinema (OBCC) prize at the BAFTA ceremony in London earlier this month, but the academy said it did not know about the claims when it was announced in March that Clarke would be given the award.
BAFTA said it had been emailed anonymous second and third-hand accounts of alleged misconduct after the announcement, but the accusers had not sent first-hand allegations to the organisation.
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Noel Clarke on fight to ‘elicit change’ after BAFTA win
The Guardian has also said that three prominent industry figures – film director Sally El Hosaini, industry and talent development manager Pelumi Akindude, and actor James Krishna Floyd – jointly contacted BAFTA alerting it to similar allegations after the award was first announced.
In a letter, they said they had each heard “first-hand” accounts of sexual harassment and abuse of power by Clarke and were “extremely concerned” about the award.
They suggested the academy would be “remiss not to do its own due diligence on this matter, as it seems the numerous allegations are a well-known secret within the wider industry”, according to the newspaper.
BAFTA said no first-hand allegations had been sent to the academy, saying “no matter how abhorrent these allegations are, they cannot be dealt with without due process”.
“Had the victims gone on record as they have with The Guardian, the award would have been suspended immediately,” it said.
Defending its actions, it added: “It would have been improper to halt the award at that point based on the extremely limited information that we had where the ultimate sources were unknown.”