I May Destroy You creator and star, Michaela Coel, has added her support for the women accusing director and actor Noel Clarke of sexual harassment and bullying.
The Guardian last night published the results of an investigation in which 20 women who have worked with Clarke accused him of sexual harassment and bullying behaviour.
Coel said: “I am here to offer great support for the 20 brave women who have come forward; those who have shared their identities with us, but also those who have preferred to use an alias; the mental hurdles a black woman must overcome to do such a thing as reveal their identity within a narrative of rape abuse or bullying at the hands of someone within our own community can sometimes be too much.” said Coel.
“Speaking out about these incidents takes a lot of strength because some call them ‘grey areas.’ These are however far from grey. These behaviours are unprofessional, violent and can destroy a person’s perception of themselves, their place in the world and their career irreparably. I have shared to show solidarity, to express my belief in them and to stand with them in their indignation. I applaud The Guardian and its journalists for investigating and publishing this story”
Noel Clarke has issued a statement about The Guardian’s report saying: “I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.”
Screen industries trade union Bectu seperately put out a statement on the affair saying it is seeking an urgent meeting with Bafta.
“The allegations in The Guardian this evening concerning Noel Clarke are extremely serious. It takes huge courage to speak out and these women have our solidarity.
“We welcome that Bafta have suspended Noel Clarke, but this cannot be the end of the matter and the allegations must be urgently investigated with lessons learned for the whole industry.
“Abuse of power is never acceptable and the industry must be clear and swift in its response to substantiated complaints. We are seeking a meeting with Bafta urgently.”