U.K. film and TV star Noel Clarke has spoken up about the so-called ‘cancel culture’ and McCarthyism and revealed that he had suicidal feelings after sexual harassment allegations against him.
In an interview with U.K. tabloid Daily Mail, the first after London’s Metropolitan Police decided not to investigate the claims against him, Clarke said: “Twenty years of work was gone in 24 hours. I lost everything. The company I built from the ground up, my TV shows, my movies, my book deals, the industry respect I had. In my heart and my head it has damaged me in a way I cannot articulate.”
“There has been no arrest, no charges, no trial, no verdict but I have been criminalized,” Clarke added. “This is a form of modern McCarthyism.”
The fall was swift from April 2021, when multiple sexual misconduct allegations emerged against Clarke, best known for starring in shows such as “Doctor Who” and “Bulletproof” and the films “Kidulthood” and “Adulthood.” The allegations, first published as part of an extensive investigation by U.K. newspaper The Guardian, spanned 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.
Following the allegations, the BAFTA, which had conferred an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award to Clarke, suspended his membership and withdrew the award. The actor also lost deals with All3Media, the super-indie backers of Clarke’s production company Unstoppable Film and Television, U.K. broadcaster ITV pulled “Viewpoint,” starring Clarke, and the actor was also accused of harassment on BBC’s “Doctor Who” set years ago.
‘If we don’t need police and judges and juries any more, if we only need social media and the broadcasters, then what world do we live in?’ Clarke said. “At what point did the broadcasters in this country become the judges, juries and executioners of people? At what point did BAFTA decide they were no longer about films, but they were about judging people’s lives?
Clarke, who has always denied the allegations, is suing The Guardian and BAFTA for defamation. He told the Daily Mail that at his lowest point he was suicidal and was snapped out of it by his one-year-old son. “Up to that point, I had been waiting for the right moment to kill myself. I was out of here. Done. I didn’t care about anything. My mind was destroyed.”
In the interview, Clarke admits that he may have been “over tactile” sometimes. “I’ve been a regular dude, for sure, I flirt. Have I ever made a saucy comment? One hundred per cent. But not to the extent that it warranted the destruction of my life,” Clarke said.
“I’m not a predator. I have crossed the road to avoid walking behind women since I was 15 years old,” Clarke added.