Noel Clarke demanded more diversity after arriving on TV show set to find all-white crew

‘Adulthood’ actor previously said that racism is embedded in the British film and television industry

Adam White
Tuesday 25 August 2020 17:10 BST
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Noel Clarke immediately called upon the producers of his new TV show to diversify its crew when he arrived on set.

The British actor would not name the series in question, but told the Edinburgh TV Festival that he was unimpressed that the crew was entirely white and demanded quick action.

“I’m on a job now which I can’t mention and I came in on day one and I’m the lead actor and I was like, ‘The crew’s not diverse enough, fix it, fix it’,” Clarke recalled.

“[They said] ‘Yeah but…’ [I said] ‘I don’t want to hear anything else, fix it’. I don’t care if there’s trainees, because this job’s trainees is the next job’s runner, then the next job’s assistant, then they’re a supervisor, then in five year’s time or three year’s time, we have more people in the business from different backgrounds; socio-economic, not just about colour.”

Clarke also urged television productions to make permanent change in terms of diversity and representation behind the camera.

“We need to make sure that what’s happening right now is not just this quarter’s hashtag and in six months’ time it’s going to be something else,” he said. “I don’t mind trainees, but we need to get people in at ground level. Change takes time.”

Clarke is currently filming the ITV series Viewpoint, which will be the first UK drama series to restart filming since the coronavirus shut down the entertainment industry earlier this year.

In May, Clarke said that numerous UK TV channels refused to back his hit Sky One series Bulletproof because it was led by two black leads, and also suggested he was deliberately left off the poster to the British comedy film Fisherman’s Friends.

“People on here acting like this is just a US problem,” he tweeted at the time. “Racism is prevalent here too. Embedded in the fabric of society, the industry I’m in.”

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