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“I am shocked and appalled to learn of the historical allegations made by a number of women against Charlie Hanson,” Gervais said in a statement Saturday obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “The decision was made to immediately remove him from production and I am confident the matter is being handled thoroughly.”
Netflix confirmed that Hanson was removed from After Life.
“On Monday, we received an anonymous email containing historical allegations about a producer on one of our titles,” a rep for the streamer said in a statement obtained by THR. “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.”
Stephen Merchant, a longtime Gervais collaborator who was the co-writer and co-director of the British TV comedy series The Office, and co-writer, co-director and co-star of both Extras and Life’s Too Short, which Hanson produced, also spoke out following the allegations against Hanson. “Having worked with Charlie Hanson in the past, I am deeply shocked and disturbed to discover allegations have been made against him by multiple women,” he said in a statement Sunday obtained by THR.
Times reporter Sophie Wilkinson detailed two of the allegations against Hanson on Twitter, writing, “One woman alleges an incident in 2008 where Hanson had sex with her without her consent in a house she did not recognize. Another woman alleges an incident in 2015 where Hanson ‘persisted in sexual contact’ despite her state of semi-consciousness.”
The Times reported that some of Hanson’s accusers sent a 5,000-word email to Netflix and BAFTA, in which, according to the outlet, they called Hanson “a predator who uses his reputation, connections and standing in order to groom far younger, impressionable and sometimes vulnerable women into trusting him.”
“At times he will promise them a starry career under his wing, and then exploits that trust in creepy and illegal ways,” the email continued, according to The Times. “He then tries to diminish the seriousness of what he’s done by telling these young women — us — that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, that it was somehow blameless. He does his best to convince himself — and others — that this method of operating is fine. But we know it is not fine.”
The women asked Netflix and BAFTA to consider whether he should continue in his current roles.
“Please tell us what you are doing to ensure Charlie Hanson will no longer be able to use his standing with both Netflix and BAFTA in order to launder his reputation and continue to hurt women,” the email said, according to The Times.
Hanson’s BAFTA membership has been suspended, THR has confirmed.
“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,” a BAFTA spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
Hanson has denied the allegations, according to a statement from his lawyer to The Times, but said he would fully cooperate with any formal investigation. A rep for Hanson has yet to respond to THR‘s request for comment.
In addition to After Life, Hanson produced Gervais’ Life’s Too Short, Derek and Extras.
May 30, 9:13 a.m. This story has been updated with confirmation that Hanson’s BAFTA membership has been suspended and a statement from the organization.
May 30, 10:31 a.m. This story has been updated with a statement from Stephen Merchant.
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