Noel Clarke, the prominent actor, screenwriter, and director has announced that he will quit Unstoppable Film and TV, the production company he had established with fellow actor Jason Maza. This announcement comes in the wake of an accusation of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women published by the Guardian on April 21, 2021. Subsequently, another five women accused him of sexual harassment, bullying, or behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner. Among the multiple claims against Clarke were secret filming of naked auditions, indecent exposure, and groping colleagues.
Who’s Noel Clarke?
Clarke founded his production company in 2017, which produced the “Bulletproof” series for Sky as well as films like “Brotherhood”, and “Adulthood” that followed the first film in the series, “Kidulthood” that Clarke made in 2006. Rising to prominence in the 2000s, Clarke was also recognized with an honorary Bafta, earlier this year.
Repercussions of the Scandal
Immediately after the news of the scandal broke, his award, as well as his Bafta membership withdraw. After the investigation carried out by The Guardian, leading TV channels like Sky, the BBC, and ITV terminated their ties with him, with ITV moving the final episode of Viewpoint, a Clarke series for the channel to on-demand from the linear broadcast. According to a statement issued by Scotland Yard, there are currently no criminal legal proceedings against Clarke even though they are investigating the claims by several women.
Clarke in Denial Mode
As may be expected, Clarke has denied that he has engaged in any kind of sexual misconduct. After the news broke, he issued a statement saying, “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”. However, following the revelation of the details, Clarke has reportedly said that he was deeply sorry for his behavior. And that he was seeking professional help “to educate myself and change for the better”.
Industry Shakeout in Progress
According to a report in Variety magazine, several junior production employees at Unstoppable have quit. There is also news that All3Media. The company that backed Unstoppable, is looking to transfer its ongoing projects to some of its other ventures. According to the records of Companies House, the UK’s registrar of companies. Both Clarke and his partner Maza have resigned from their positions at Unstoppable on July 29. However, Jane Turton and Stephen Lambert, the CEO and boss respectively of All3Media along with Angela McMullen, chief financial officer remain on the company’s board.
The scandal surrounding Clarke has led to more conversations on workplace abuse in the film and TV industry. Where many workers, usually on freelance contracts that can terminate at any time. Are unable to speak put freely about misconduct. The Unseen On Screen has commenced an anti-bullying campaign and issued an open letter. Signed by some 2,000 members of the entrainment sector in Britain that calls for “an end to this culture that turns a blind eye to predators and harassers operating in plain sight.”