BAFTA halts Fellowship Prize and Special Award after Noel Clarke controversy

BAFTA has "temporarily paused" its special prizes in the wake of allegations made against Noel Clarke.

BAFTAs

The BAFTA TV Awards 2021 will not feature the Fellowship or Special Award, BAFTA has confirmed, while it reviews its procedures surrounding awards within its gift.

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A spokesperson for BAFTA told Deadline: “We have recently announced that we are conducting a review of the processes governing awards that are in the gift of the academy, so we have temporarily paused the Special Awards and Fellowships and they will not feature in this Sunday’s ceremony.”

The BAFTA TV Awards will take place this Sunday but with the Special Award (previously taken home by Idris Elba) and Fellowship (recipients of which include Joan Bakewell and Joanna Lumley) omitted.

The news comes after BAFTA honoured Noel Clarke with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award earlier this year, having been been presented with allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor, director and producer.

The Guardian subsequently published allegations from over 20 people against Clarke, accusing him of “sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate behaviour and comments on set, professional misconduct, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying between 2004 and 2019”.

He categorically denies the allegations.

At the time, BAFTA said it would have been “improper” to suspend Clarke’s award “based on the extremely limited information that we had where the ultimate sources were unknown”.

After the allegations from over 20 people were published, BAFTA announced it was suspending the actor’s membership and his recent Outstanding Contribution award “immediately and until further notice”.

“In light of The Guardian’s piece, which for BAFTA provided for the first time detailed accounts outlining serious allegations regarding Noel Clarke’s conduct, we have immediately suspended the award and Noel Clarke’s membership of BAFTA until further notice,” a statement said.

Via his lawyers, Clarke denied all allegations put to him by The Guardian except one, accepting he once made inappropriate comments about one women, for which he later apologised. He denied the rest of her allegations.

In a statement, he said: “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.”

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Clarke later issued an apology but continued to deny all allegations of misconduct, saying: “I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

“Recent reports however have made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise.”

“To those individuals, I am deeply sorry. I will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better.”