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

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

After facing backlash for giving Noel Clarke an honorary award regardless of sexual misconduct and bullying accusations towards the actor, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has joined Time’s Up U.Ok. in calling for higher industrywide protocols to confront such issues.

In a press release Thursday, BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry mentioned, “We join Time’s Up U.K. in calling on the industry to come together at a high-level summit to address the urgent need for a consistent and trusted industrywide approach to responding to allegations of bullying and harassment.

“As a part of this, BAFTA is accelerating its work with business companions to encourage employers to undertake the bullying, harassment and racism prevention steerage that we developed in partnership with the BFI and different organisations in response to these points,” Berry continued.

The partnership comes more than a month after the arts charity awarded — and later revoked — Clarke’s prize for outstanding British contribution to cinema.

Hours after BAFTA announced plans to honor Clarke in March, the charity received several allegations of bullying and sexual harassment against the “Bulletproof” star, according to the Guardian. BAFTA sought to corroborate the accusations in the 12 days before the ceremony, saying the allegations were anonymous or second- or third-hand accounts, and consulted lawyers and a trained expert to safely mediate claims from the accusers.

Critics say the organization did not act fast enough before ultimately going through with the awards as planned. (BAFTA stated that, as a charity, it did not have the resources to properly conduct its own investigation.)

Clarke’s award was quickly undermined when 20 women came forward with their allegations in a Guardian investigation published in late April, just weeks after the BAFTA ceremony. The organization suspended both the award and the “Dr. Who” actor’s membership the identical day, and BAFTA has since paused handing out particular awards and fellowships. Clarke denied all however one of many allegations detailed within the Guardian’s report.

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

Time’s Up U.K. chair Dame Heather Rabbatts told Deadline Friday that the Clarke allegations exemplify the industry’s lack of appropriate protocols to handle abuse allegations once a production is finished. “The issue is what occurs in what I name the grey area, and the Noel Clarke allegations are a manifestation of this,” she said.

“Productions come right now they usually’re gone tomorrow. … You don’t have a commissioning relationship. We want to take into consideration what we are able to do in that area, as a result of who has the duty?”

On Wednesday, Time’s Up U.Ok. known as for the institution of an independent authority to deal with sexual misconduct allegations. Berry stopped in need of endorsing the thought, although she emphasised the need of “significant modifications to the tradition and dealing practices to help individuals making complaints and higher safeguard all these working within the display screen industries,” in accordance to Deadline.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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