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14 Jun 2021 18:52
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  •   Home > News > Entertainment

    BAFTA has defended its decision to hand Noel Clarke an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award

    Dame Pippa Harris, deputy chair of BAFTA, has insisted she stands by chair Krishnendu Majumdar and chief ex ecutive Amanda Berry, after Clarke was presented with the accolade despite BAFTA being informed about the existence of several allegations of verbal abuse, bullying and sexual harassment against the 'Bulletproof' star


    The allegations, published in The Guardian newspaper, hadn't been made public at the time, and Pippa has insisted if BAFTA had "one fraction of the information" in the publication's report - which featured allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by 20 women - then Clarke wouldn't have been awarded the gong.

    She told Sky News: "If we had had one fraction of the information that The Guardian had had, we would never have given an award to Noel Clarke.

    "That is obvious, but we didn't have that information. The first time that we saw the actual allegations against him was when they were published by The Guardian newspaper and as soon as we saw the allegations, we suspended the award."

    And Pippa insisted Krishnendu shouldn't step down because he acted with the "full endorsement and knowledge of the board".

    When asked if she thought Krishnendu should resign, she said: "This whole affair has been extremely difficult, as you can imagine, for everyone involved, and Krish has worked all the way through together with the board. It has been a joint decision-making process.

    "Krish has not been doing anything on his own. So any criticism that has been levelled at BAFTA should be levelled at everybody. It is really not right to single people out.

    "Everything that Krish did, he did with the full endorsement and knowledge of the board."

    Clarke's BAFTA membership was suspended after the allegations were detailed in The Guardian.

    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."

    The organisation wrote to its 8,000 members, saying: "It would have been improper to halt the award at that point based on the extremely limited information".

    Clarke has "vehemently denied any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing".

    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 apologise.

    "I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations."

    © 2021 Bang Showbiz, NZCity

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