British television producer and director Charlie Hanson has been removed from Netflix’s Ricky Gervais comedy After Life and he has been suspended by BAFTA amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Both Netflix and BAFTA were sent an anonymous email this week containing allegations about Hanson. The Times of London reported on Saturday that he is the subject of complaints from 11 women, who have detailed accusations dating from 2008 to 2015. Hanson strenuously denies wrongdoing.
Netflix confirmed Hanson is no longer a producer on After Life. A spokeswoman said: “On Monday, we received an anonymous email containing historical allegations about a producer on one of our titles. Whilst the allegations are unrelated to his time on the show, we immediately removed him from the production and referred the matter to the police.”
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In a statement, Gervais added: “I am shocked and appalled to learn of the historical allegations made by a number of women against Charlie Hanson. The decision was made to immediately remove him from production and I am confident the matter is being handled thoroughly.”
BAFTA also confirmed it had suspended Hanson’s membership. A spokeswoman said: “We have been presented with a number of very serious detailed allegations about an individual and while we are not their employer we immediately took the decision to suspend their membership. BAFTA is an arts charity and does not have the power to investigate historic claims of abuse therefore we have referred the matter to the police. The behaviour that these accounts allege is abhorrent, in complete opposition to BAFTA values and has no place in our industry.”
In a statement via his attorney, Hanson told Deadline: “I have been made aware of allegations made against me concerning improper conduct towards women dating back many years. Based on the summaries that have been provided to me, I understand that many of these accusations are made anonymously and are demonstrably false.
“I have not had one complaint in decades of work in the media industry. I categorically reject any wrongdoing on my part, and strongly refute the allegations that have been levelled at me. I have worked with and supported hundreds of men and women during my working life and will do what is necessary to protect and/or restore my reputation. I will also cooperate with any formal inquiries. The matter is now in the hands of my solicitors.”
A spokesman for Hanson’s agent, United Agents, said: “We were shocked to learn of the historic allegations. Whilst this matter is investigated we have suspended our representation of him.” His profile has been removed from United Agents’ website.
The Times carried an excerpt from the email sent to Netflix and BAFTA, which said: “Charlie Hanson is a predator who uses his reputation, connections and standing in order to groom far younger, impressionable and sometimes vulnerable women into trusting him.”
Hanson has previously spoken out about industry misconduct following the accusations against actor Noel Clarke. In comments to Variety earlier this month, he was critical of BAFTA’s response to the allegations against Clarke after the organization proceeded in giving him an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award. “A lot of people saw the BAFTA email and were disappointed that three prominent [industry figures] came to them about the harassment allegations and they weren’t given the time they deserved,” Hanson said.
Hanson is a BAFTA-winning veteran of the UK comedy scene and has worked as a producer on many high-profile shows, including Birds Of A Feather, Not Going Out, and Reggie Perrin. He is a frequent collaborator with Gervais, having worked with The Office creator on After Life, Extras, Derek, and features David Brent: Life on the Road and Cemetery Junction.