Bafta 'scraps special awards' for 2021 following Noel Clarke scandal

The Baftas will reportedly not honour anyone with a Fellowship or Special Award at this year’s TV ceremony following the scandal surrounding Noel Clarke.

It comes after 20 women made allegations of harassment, sexual misconduct and bullying against Clarke.

In a statement, Clarke said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for some of his actions, but vehemently denied ‘any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing’, adding that he ‘will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better’.

Bafta had announced that it was honouring Clarke for outstanding British contribution to cinema at this year’s film awards in April. However, the allegations later resulted in his Bafta membership being suspended.

In a statement, Bafta said: ‘In light of the allegations of serious misconduct regarding Noel Clarke in The Guardian, Bafta has taken the decision to suspend his membership and the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award immediately and until further notice.’

It’s now been reported in the Mirror that bosses have suspended all the individual honours ‘in the gift of the Academy’ rather than voted for by an industry panel for Sunday’s ceremony.

In a message to its members last week, Bafta said it was ‘reviewing’ its selection protocols.

It said: ‘We wanted to let you know that while we review the processes behind selecting the awards that are ‘in the gift of the Academy’- the Special Awards and Fellowships – we have temporarily paused these kinds of awards and they will not feature in Sunday’s ceremony.’

This year’s TV ceremony takes place this Sunday on BBC One, live from TV Centre in London.

The last person to receive a Fellowship was presenter Joan Bakewell in 2019, while Idris Elba was handed a Special Award last year. Kate Adie received it in 2018, before Joanna Lumley in 2017. Lenny Henry was given a Special Award in 2016.

It comes after the deputy chair of Bafta defended the organisation’s decision to still award Clarke with his recent honour despite misconduct allegations.

The Guardian report, which saw 20 women come forward against Clarke, said Bafta had been contacted over the claims before Clarke was honoured with the outstanding British contribution to cinema award at the April ceremony.

However, defending the Academy’s response to the claims, Dame Pippa Harris told Sky News the film academy was not in possession of ‘one fraction’ of the detail the Guardian had about the allegations against Clarke.

Dame Pippa said: ‘If we had had one fraction of the information that the Guardian had, we would never have given an award to Noel Clarke, that’s obvious. But we didn’t have that information.

‘The first time we saw the actual allegations against him was when they were published by The Guardian newspaper and as soon as we saw the allegations we suspended the award.’

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Bafta for comment.

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