On the 11th April, one of all my favourte actors Noel Clarke, recieved the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award, he gave an impassioned speach which ended with the line “This is for the underrepresented. Anyone who sits at home believing they can achieve more. This is for my Black boys and girls out there who never believed this could happen to them.”
I was really thrilled, I have loved watching him since I first saw him in Doctor Who, and there hasn’t been anything that I have seen him in that I didn’t like
On Thursday 29th April, the bomb dropped that over 20 women have accused him of groping, harrasement and bullying, the fact that both Noel and Bafta knew this story would be going to press nearly 14 days before he recieved the award, I believe shows the arrogance of him to still accept it. Bafta have withdrawn the award now
I am gutted to be honest, gutted because I thought he was one of the good guys, gutted that women felt they were unable to say something till alot of them got together and gutted he refuses to admit he has done anything wrong.
You can read the full story here, I will say it is tough reading, if you don’t know who he is.
But once again the entertainment industry is filled with these accusations and is it because its an industry always in the news, or is it filled with creeps.
I think part of the problem, is a lot of the things he is accused of, are not really crimes, its just harrassement that women put up with on a day to day basis.
One of the main comments I saw was but why didn’t people speak up sooner, from my limited understanding of the entertainment business. Alot of them are self employed or freelance, their reputation is everything, you do a good job, you get hired on another job you make waves or get black listed then you might never work again.
Noel for an example he wrote Kidulthood as well as staring in it. The next one Adulthood, he wrote starred and directed it, giving him more power. The third one, Brotherhood, he wrote, starred, directed and produced it. In many other industries there is usually people in between the big boss and the workers, not so in the entertainment industry. If anyone complained on the set of Brotherhood, as the producer he has the right to hire and fire at will, especially made easier, when the staff are self employed and so don’t have the same rights as employees.
The thing is people do get blacklisted, Adam Deacon who starred in the first film Kidulthood, spoke out and he hasn’t worked since.
As directors and producers, you can choose things like sex scenes, then cut them for the movie, maybe the actors involved wondering why they did those. Things like the casting couch has been joked about for years now.
I do wonder how we improve it, for the people working on set, making it easier for those that want to, to speak up, however it is never going to be as simple as why didn’t they speak up, women are well aware of the statics of rape crimes. We know if we make an allergation it is us, who are put on trial and asked why were you out that late, why were you wearing a short skirt, why did you have that much to drink and that is a stranger assualt, I can imagine how much harder it is for people in that industry.
I hope that this might be the turning point for the industry. However I doubt it will be this one or even the next one.