The Bafta boss who awarded Noel Clarke, despite being told about sexual claims against the actor, had worked with him a year earlier as part of a diversity drive, it is said.
Krishnendu Majumdar is said to have partnered with the Viewpoint star to increase diversity in last year’s Bafta awards.
The diversity campaign was launched after criticism, including from Prince William, that the nominees were ‘overwhelmingly white’.
It has since been alleged that Bafta had been made aware of sexual harassment claims against Clarke before presenting him with an award for outstanding British contribution to cinema.
But Bafta lawyers would have advised bosses at the time that the claims – which at the time did not include first-hand accounts – did not justify suspension of the award to Clarke, according to the Times.
Bafta denies being aware of the claims against Clarke prior to the price announcement in March.
After Clarke received the award, the Guardian printed allegations of 20 women who claimed they were sexually harassed or touched by the famous actor and director over a 15-year period.
Since then, seven more women have come forward.
Clarke has said he is “deeply sorry” for his actions, but firmly denies any sexual misconduct or any criminal misconduct.
The Bafta boss who gave Noel Clarke (pictured) an award, despite being told there were sexual claims against the actor a year earlier, had collaborated with him as part of a diversity campaign, it was alleged.
Krishnendu Majumdar is said to have partnered with the Viewpoint star to help increase diversity in the Bafta awards
According to the Times, Majumdar, the first person of color to become chairman of Bafta, was deputy chairman last year when he led a group that wanted to increase the diversity of the awards.
Clarke, who has been a consistent advocate for diversity in the British film industry, in which he previously claimed that racism is embedded, was reportedly a member of that same steering committee.
It is alleged that Bafta first learned of the allegations on March 29 – the day the award was announced – when award-winning film director Sally El Hosaini, talent manager Pelumi Akindude and Bafta-winning actor James Krishna Floyd wrote a joint letter to the leaders. from the organization. .
In the letter, they said they were “extremely concerned” about his intention to give Clarke the award given the first-hand stories they had heard.
Later, the Guardian printed the allegations of the 20 women. Bafta subsequently suspended Clarke’s award and membership.
A spokesperson for Bafta said in a statement on its website: “ We acted as quickly and supportively as possible, even though we had only received the most general claims and no first-hand factual information to investigate allegations that may have been of a criminal nature. .
‘Our attorneys have advised us every step of the way throughout this process to ensure that we have handled the case correctly.
Since we did not have any of the personal testimonials that The Guardian produced, we found ourselves in a dire situation and it would have been inappropriate to have the award stopped at that point based on the extremely limited information we had where the final sources were unknown. ‘
It comes as Bafta president Prince William said yesterday that he was “kept in the dark” over the allegations of sex before the actor-producer was recognized by the academy.
The Duke of Cambridge’s speech was canceled due to the death of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, but it is reported that he intended to praise Bafta for his diversity.
Bafta president Prince William (pictured, left, at last year’s ceremony) was ‘kept in the dark’ over allegations faced by actor and producer Noel Clark (right) and had to commend the academy for his diversity before his speech was canceled after his grandfather’s death last month
Prince William last year shared his ‘frustration’ at the lack of diversity among the white-dominated Baftas and announced a ‘complete and thorough overhaul’.
But when the academy rewarded Clarke for his “ outstanding British contribution ” to cinema, the president would praise Bafta, unaware that Clarke faced a string of sexual misconduct allegations, the Sunday Times reported.
Yesterday, one of the actresses charged with sexual misconduct against Clark said she called the police because she claimed the actor secretly filmed her naked during an audition.
Jahannah James, 31, is one of 27 women who have accused the 45-year-old Viewpoint star of a campaign of sexual harassment and bullying.
Ms. James, who co-starred with Clarke in Brotherhood, claims the actor secretly filmed her auditioning naked.
The actress, who made the claim on Twitter, was questioned by some social media users as to why she “ didn’t go to the police ” at the time.
However, Ms. James has now claimed that she did speak to agents who refused to open an investigation.
She wrote on Twitter: ‘I tried to go to the police, they said there was nothing they could do unless he threatened me with the images !!!
Jahannah James is one of 27 women accused the Viewpoint star of a campaign of sexual harassment and bullying
‘And I wasn’t in a place at the time where I could speak out on my own. Only together have we been able to speak now. ‘
It comes as Scotland Yard has said it is ‘assessing’ a specific allegation, following allegations made by 27 women who now say they were sexually harassed or touched by the famous actor and director. He firmly denies the allegations.
The Met Police confirmed that a “third party report” was prepared on April 21 “relating to allegations of sex crimes committed by a man over a period of time.”
A third party report is when claims are made to an organization separate from the police. This type of report is anonymous and means that the claims cannot be investigated by agents, but used as intelligence.
A spokesperson said no criminal investigation has been launched, but agents are “currently reviewing the information.”
They added, “We would urge anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sex offense to report it to the police so that the information can be assessed and investigated accordingly.”
Clarke has “deeply” apologized for his actions, but has “vehemently” denied any sexual misconduct or criminal behavior.