Hello! Welcome to International Insider, I’m Jake Kanter. It’s been a short week both in the UK and America, but there’s still been a glut of news. Keep scrolling for all the headlines you need to read. As always, I’m on [email protected] if you want to send comments, feedback or stories. And to get this delivered directly to your inbox every Friday, sign up here.
UK TV’s #MeToo Moment
Triggered: The question I’ve been asking this week: have the allegations of sexual misconduct against Noel Clarke opened the floodgates to the UK television industry’s #MeToo moment? Time’s Up UK chair Dame Heather Rabbatts certainly thinks that the actor and producer’s high-profile status in the British biz has “helped to act as an accelerator for others to come forward” with further claims, she tells me. Alex Pumfrey, the CEO of The Film & TV Charity, adds that “we should be prepared for more allegations of this nature to come to light.”
Comedy producer accused: Their comments follow BAFTA-winning comedy producer Charlie Hanson becoming the latest notable figure to be accused of sexual misconduct. The Time’s and Channel 4 News published detailed allegations about Hanson over the weekend, but not before Netflix had removed him from Ricky Gervais’ series After Life. The streamer fired him and referred the matter to the police after being sent an email setting out accusations about the producer’s inappropriate behavior. United Agents also dropped Hanson, while BAFTA suspended his membership.
Denials: It’s worth pointing out that both Clarke and Hanson strongly deny wrongdoing. Clarke has apologized if his actions “have affected people in ways I did not intend” and he is currently seeking professional support. Hanson said over the weekend that the allegations against him are “demonstrably false” and he has “not had one complaint in decades of work in the media industry.” He has pledged to cooperate with inquiries.
A question of accountability: Rabbatts says she is now exploring ways of improving accountability in the British television industry when allegations of sexual misconduct emerge years after a production has shut up shop. The Time’s Up chief says she is in talks with the BFI and BAFTA around creating a set of recommendations and hopes to be able to say more in the coming weeks. She adds that Time’s Up UK is focused on ensuring broadcasters, streamers, and producers build trust and confidence in their processes so crew members feel able to make a complaint “as soon as an incident has happened.” Read her full comments here.
Worth noting: If you would like to speak to someone about bullying or harassment you can call the Film & TV Charity’s 24-hour Support Line on 0800 054 00 00. It’s free and confidential to anyone working behind the scenes in the industry.
Vintage Cannes Line-Up, But Who Will Be There?
John Boyega Exits Netflix Shoot
Boyega bows out: Big scoop last night from our Andreas Wiseman, who revealed that John Boyega has backed out of filming mid-shoot on Netflix feature Rebel Ridge. He cited “family reasons” for the abrupt departure, which has forced the shoot into a hiatus as Netflix searches for Boyega’s replacement. It’s an unusual turn of events, with lead actors rarely leaving projects at such a critical juncture, but we’re sure Boyega had very good reasons and we wish him well with whatever he is dealing with. Plot details have been kept under wraps on the Jeremy Saulnier-directed project, which is said to explore systemic American injustice in the context of action, suspense, and black humor. Read Andreas’ full story.
BAFTA TV Awards
Roll on the BAFTA TV Awards this weekend, which are an important moment for the organization for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s the first time BAFTA will welcome a cadre of nominees to a physical ceremony since coronavirus did its worst last year. Those in performance categories will walk the red carpet ahead of the gong-giving at Television Centre, London, meaning we’ll see the likes of Michaela Coel (pictured), Jodie Comer, Paul Mescal, Graham Norton, and Billie Piper in their finery. The other reason Sunday is an important night for BAFTA is because it marks the first time it has hosted a major event since the scandal involving Noel Clarke. And it will be noticeable: BAFTA has scrapped special prizes for the night after awarding Clarke the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award earlier this year, despite allegations of sexual misconduct against the Bulletproof star. He denies the claims.
And who will be the big winners? Well, the BAFTA TV Craft Awards, held last month, are instructive. Shows that triumphed included Coel’s I May Destroy You (wins included director: fiction, and writer: drama) and Steve McQueen’s Small Axe (which took home five prizes, including best scripted casting). Don’t be surprised if they dominate come Sunday night. Other things to look out for: will The Crown be snubbed like it was at the Craft Awards? Could ITV’s The Masked Singer win a BAFTA for best entertainment show? And will Paul Ritter be posthumously honored for his role in Friday Night Dinner? BBC One broadcasts the pre-recorded awards at 7PM UK time and you can follow our coverage here.
📽️ In the frame: Netflix has released a clutch of first-look stills from the fifth and final season of La Casa de Papel, better known in the English-speaking world as Money Heist. Take a look.
🍿 International box office: Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II enjoyed a noisy start. It had a $22M overseas debut in just 12 markets for a worldwide opening of $70.4M Nancy Tartaglione has the details.
📝 International Critics Line: Anna Smith watched Tove, the biopic on Swedish-Finnish Moomins creator Tove Jansson (Alma Pöysti). “You’re left with an admiration for a charming, spirited woman,” Smith said. Read her review here.
🤠 Indiana in the UK: The much anticipated Indiana Jones 5 is due to begin filming in Britain next week. Cameras will roll at Pinewood. Andreas Wiseman had the scoop.
🏥 ‘Holby’ closes its doors: The BBC announced this week that it is canceling 23-year-old drama series Holby City. The show will run until March 2022, when it will be replaced by another long-running series produced outside of London. Go deeper.
🚚 On the move: Iris Knobloch, WarnerMedia’s president of France, Benelux, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, is to leave the company after 25 years. Full story.
📅 Diary date: The Sheffield Doc/Fest kicks off from today. Special screenings include the world premiere of Steve McQueen’s Uprising, a three-part BBC series co-directed with James Rogan. Full line-up here.
🧟 In zombie news: Netflix has thrown the full weight of its promotional machine behind Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, and it appears to be paying off. The film is set to notch up 72M viewing households in its first four weeks, which would put it among Netflix’s top 10 movies. Go deeper.
📺 One to watch: Amazon will stream four National Theatre shows in the UK from next Friday. You can expect to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag and Danny Boyle’s staging of Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. More details.
Blue sky thinking: Warner Bros. Discovery it is then, as the mega-merged company unwrapped its new look on Tuesday. The logo in the clouds does not feature Warner Bros.’ iconic shield, but does pay homage to the company’s rich history with the tagline “the stuff that dreams are made of” — a quote from John Huston’s 1941 feature The Maltese Falcon. Incoming Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav heralded the new company earnestly as “the most innovative, exciting and fun place to tell stories in the world,” but there was predictable shade on social media for the rebrand. Many ruthlessly mocked its WordArt appearance, while others looked to the movies for creative references. UK media consultant Krishan Arora saw Life of Brian in the logo, while others went with the slightly less flattering The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Perhaps a good job then that it’s not the finished product. Warner Bros. Discovery said it’s just an “initial wordmark,” which is ironic given that it’s certainly left its mark. Read our story here.
Tom Grater contributed to International Insider.
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