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LSDA ‘shocked’ by claims Noel Clarke encouraged students to undress in drama workshop

Clarke has denied the allegations against him (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for dunhill)

The London School of Dramatic Art (LSDA) is shocked by claims that Noel Clarke encouraged students to strip to their underwear during an ‘unsanctioned’ acting class.

Allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying from 20 women against Bulletproof star Clarke were made public via an investigation in the Guardian on Thursday.

Clarke, 45, has vehemently denied the allegations.

In the wake of the bombshell investigation, it was claimed by former students of LSDA that on August 12, 2012, Clarke encouraged students, mostly aged 18-20, to strip down to their underwear for a scene in which they were improvising ‘getting ready for bed’.

A male student told the Guardian about the dramatic workshop, while a female classmate said she was ‘ashamed’ about the alleged incident, where all the students bar one, who kept on her T-shirt, allegedly stripped to their underwear.

The LSDA has released a statement, signed by founder Jake Taylor, to ‘formally offer our full support to all the brave women who have recently shared their stories as part of the recent investigation into the numerous allegations of sexual harassment committed by Noel Clarke’.

It read: ‘Like most people, we are appalled by the sheer number of people who have come forward and the nature of these accusations. What is even sadder for us is that a number of these women are members of the LSDA family, we especially reach out to them so they know that we trust you and stand in solidarity with you.

‘In 2011 Noel was invited to join our board of directors. It was agreed that his involvement would solely be in an advisory capacity and in no way would he be involved in either the management of our teaching within the school.

‘Noel was invited to speak to our students on a limited number of occasions, each time in the capacity of an industry talk/Q&A session. It came to our attention that on one occasion he took it upon himself to turn one of these Q&A sessions into a practical acting workshop. We were informed that in his unsanctioned class he set up improvisation exercises in which the students were told they had to get undressed and get ready for bed. Our response was to no longer schedule Noel to take unsupervised sessions with immediate effect.

‘Today we have been provided with further details about what happened in this session, and another session previously unknown to us, that has shocked us. Had we known about these details at the time we would have ended the professional relationship between Noel and our school with immediate effect.

‘We would like to stress that is never appropriate that is never appropriate to ask students to remove their clothes nor is it acceptable to suggest that there is any sort of obligation to do so in order to advance your career.’

They added that their professional relationship with Clarke has ended, and that he has not been active at LSDA since 2015.

The broadcast of the final episode of Viewpoint was cancelled (Picture: Ben Blackall)

Clarke’s lawyers denied that the LSDA ever asked him to stop giving his classes and told the Guardian that the workshop ‘was intended to help students with anxieties over their acting roles, helping to “normalise” the removal of outer clothing in a safe environment’.

They said that Clarke denies that as part of this he encouraged or forced anyone to be naked and said the workshop was open to, and was attended by, both male and female adult students.

Following the allegations, Clarke 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.’

In a further statement, the Kidulthood star said: ‘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.’

In the wake of the allegations, ITV cancelled the broadcast of the final episode of Viewpoint, in which Clarke stars, and have made the episode available on ITV Hub until Sunday, when it will be removed.

Bafta has suspended Clarke’s membership and his outstanding contribution to British cinema award, while Sky has suspended all projects with the actor.


Credit: Original article published here.

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