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Clarke was awarded the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the 2021 ceremony despite the org having been contacted with allegations of sexual conduct made against the Bulletproof and Doctor Who star. At the time, BAFTA said it had not been presented with enough concrete info to take back the already announced prize, but the body went on to implement a thorough review of how it chooses its honorary recipients.
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Clarke, who denies wrongdoing (and is reportedly trying to make a documentary to plead his innocence), has since had his award suspended by BAFTA, as well as his membership.
BAFTA also awards an honorary Fellowship each year, which is being paused as well. The org previously rescinded Rolf Harris’ Fellowship in 2014 after the TV presenter was found guilty of indecent assault.
Last year, no special prizes were awarded at BAFTA’s TV Awards in the summer as the overhaul process began. The body said Monday that it had now concluded “a lengthy, thoughtful and thorough review” of its special awards but it still needed time “to properly implement the recommendations of this review.”
Key to BAFTA’s planned implementations following the review process include the forming of a selection-coordinating committee, a diverse group of BAFTA members across age, gender and race that will oversee a rolling longlist of potential special awards recipients. The additional time will give BAFTA the chance to select the committee members.
Also important will be encouraging members to be more active in suggesting potential honorary awardees, the org noted.
The intention is to re-introduce special prizes for the BAFTA Television Awards in May. The 2022 Film Awards are scheduled to be held March 13, while the Games Awards are due to take place April 7.
The games industry has been facing its own misconduct reckoning over the past year including major developer Activision, soon to be acquired by Microsoft in a $70 billion deal, which has reportedly let go of close to 40 employees since July after receiving hundreds of complaints of workplace toxicity and sexual harassment (Activision disputes the figures).
“This concluded that these awards remain a vital way to celebrate excellence and inspire future generations of talent across film, games and television and we look forward to honouring exceptional contributions to these industries in the future,” said BAFTA in a statement.
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