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Under Noel Clarke fallout fire, BAFTA joins Time’s Up to fight sexual harassment

British actor Noel Clarke, pictured in 2009, had his BAFTA membership revoked in April. (Joel Ryan / Associated Press)

After suffering backlash for bestowing an honorary award on Noel Clarke despite accusations of sexual misconduct and intimidation against the actor, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts joined Time’s Up UK in calling for better protocols to industry-wide to deal with such problems.

In a statement Thursday, BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry said: “We join Time’s Up UK in calling on the industry to come together at a high-level summit to address the urgent need for a cohesive approach and reliable industry-wide in responding to allegations of bullying and harassment.

“In this context, BAFTA is accelerating its work with its industry partners to encourage employers to adopt the guidelines for the prevention of bullying, harassment and racism that we have developed in partnership with the BFI and other organizations. in response to these problems, ”Berry continued.

The partnership comes more than a month after the arts charity awarded – and then revoked – the Clarke Prize for Outstanding British Contribution to Film.

Hours after BAFTA announced plans to honor Clarke in March, the charity received several allegations of intimidation and sexual harassment against the “Bulletproof” star, according to the Guardian. BAFTA sought to corroborate the accusations in the 12 days leading up to the ceremony, claiming the allegations were anonymous or second or third-hand testimony, and consulted with lawyers and a qualified expert to safely arbitrate the accusers’ claims .

Critics say the organization didn’t act quickly enough before finally winning the awards as expected. (BAFTA has said that as a charity it does not have the resources to properly conduct its own investigation.)

Clarke’s price was quickly undermined when 20 women made their allegations known in a Guardian investigation released in late April, just weeks after the BAFTA ceremony. The organization suspended the award and membership of the “Dr. Who” actor on the same day, and BAFTA has since suspended the presentation of special awards and scholarships. Clarke has denied all but one of the allegations detailed in the Guardian report.

“People will say, ‘BAFTA knew, and didn’t do anything about it.’ We tried to do something about it, ”BAFTA chairman Krishnendu Majumdar told another industry figure on the eve of the ceremony, according to the Guardian. “In the court of public opinion, we’re going to be… it’ll destroy us. “

Time’s Up UK President Dame Heather Rabbatts told Deadline Friday that Clarke’s allegations illustrate the industry’s lack of proper protocols to deal with allegations of abuse once production is complete. “The difficulty is what’s going on in what I call gray space, and Noel Clarke’s allegations are a manifestation of that,” she said.

“The productions are coming today and they are going tomorrow.… You don’t have a commissioning relationship. We have to think about what we can do in this space, because who is responsible for it?”

Time’s Up UK on Wednesday called for the creation of an independent authority to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct. Berry did not approve of the idea, although she stressed the need to “significantly change the culture and work practices to support people who file complaints and better protect all those who work in the industries of the screen, “according to Deadline.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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