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Noel Clarke Getty 2.jpg

Maybe We Don't Need a Cancel Culture Documentary From an Accused Serial Abuser?

By Kayleigh Donaldson | TV | January 18, 2022 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | TV | January 18, 2022 |


Noel Clarke Getty 2.jpg

Today in ‘cancel culture doesn’t exist for rich folks’, a documentary chronicling the experiences of Noel Clarke, the disgraced actor-director who was accused multiple times of sexual misconduct last year, is in the works at Channel 4. According to the Daily Mail, who first picked up the story, the documentary will be titled The Cancelling of Noel Clarke.

Ew.

Variety confirmed the news, with sources noting that the project ‘will look to explore the events surrounding Clarke in the last year, though it’s still unclear what the exact angle or treatment will be.’ Channel 4’s spokesperson responded that they had not commissioned the documentary but that it was ‘in the early stages of development and as part of this process, the production company has started approaching a number of potential participants.’ Shout out to everyone who read that non-denial and wanted to scream into the abyss.

Noel Clarke was accused by several people of serious professional and sexual abuses over the past several years. An expansive report in The Guardian detailed various accusations that included sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate behavior on-set, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying colleagues. This news came after it was revealed that BAFTA had been informed of some of these allegations when they chose to reward Clarke with one of their top honourary awards. One actress, Jahannah James, discussed how Clarke coaxed her into auditioning naked, telling her that it wouldn’t be filmed. Clarke then showed video of that audition to another actor. Other accusers described how Clarke would sexually harass them and threaten their careers if they spoke out against him in any way.

Projects like this take time to get off the ground and it’s possible this could simply be a straightforward investigation into Clarke’s reported abuses and the industry that shielded him. Variety did not confirm the Daily Mail’s title rumor so my fingers are crossed that this doesn’t end up being step one in the abuser apology trail.

But let’s be honest: there’s a reason we’re all scared sh*tless that this will be exactly what we fear it could be.

The U.K. has veered hardcore into the bullsh*t ‘culture wars’ with its endless faux-outrage over powerful racists and transphobes facing the most minor of repercussions or light ribbing on Twitter. It’s a well-worn right-wing playbook, of course, one we’ve seen before in various iterations. There are so many inarticulate losers who have turned pretending that they’re an edgy provocateur speaking out against the ills of the woke into their newest meal ticket. You’ll usually find them complaining about pronouns, calling Meghan Markle ‘difficult’, and misunderstanding basic literature (this is the crowd who tried to drum up anger towards students for sympathizing with Frankenstein’s monster. They’re not bright.)

So, it’s no surprise to me that some vulture of a producer decided that a man accused by no fewer than 20 women of sexual misconduct would be the perfect focus for yet another round of weaponizing abuse in the name of free speech. This is the same crowd circling around self-confessed sex offender Louis C.K. to pwn the liberals. Let’s say it again for the people in the back row — cancel culture does not exist for the rich and those in major positions of power because money and the ingrained bigotry of society will always shield them.

Justice for Adam Deacon.