TV comedy producer Charlie Hanson has been accused of being a sexual predator.
The temperature reports that 11 women described allegations against Hanson in letters to BAFTA and Netflix. Their reports cover incidents that occurred between 2008 and 2015 and include allegations of sexual assault.
Hanson denies all the allegations and says he is “shocked and appalled by these historic and false allegations of improper conduct”.
Hanson worked as a producer on the third After Life series, which is currently filming, but Netflix confirmed he was pulled from the project on Monday.
One of the most experienced television producers in British comedy, Hanson has worked on comedy shows for over four decades. His credits include hit shows from the 1990s such as Desmond’s, The Real McCoy, Chef! and this morning with Richard not Judy. In the 2000s, he helped bring formats such as Darkplace, Snuff Box, and Garth Marenghi’s The Armstrong & Miller Show to the screen.
Hanson produced Extras in 2005 and has since worked on most of Ricky Gervais’ projects, including Derek, Life’s Too Short, David Brent: Life On The Road and After Life.
In a 5,000-word email to Netflix and the BAFTAs, the women claimed, “Charlie Hanson is a predator who uses his reputation, connections and reputation to prepare much younger, impressionable and sometimes vulnerable women for to trust him. Sometimes he will promise them a star-studded career under his wing, then harness that trust in frightening and illegal ways. He then tries to lessen the seriousness of what he did by telling these young women – us – that it wasn’t that bad it was kind of flawless. He does his best to convince himself – and to convince others – that this method of operation is good. But we know this is wrong. “
The letter adds: “Please tell us what you are doing to ensure that Charlie Hanson can no longer use his position with Netflix and BAFTA to whitewash his reputation and continue to hurt women.”
The Times article gives examples of accusations. Reporters Sophie Wilkinson and Lucy Bannerman write: “His accusers claim that the man they once viewed as an ‘uncle’ figure, when they were preparing scripts and chasing auditions in their early twenties, the” was preparing “for sexual exploitation. A woman, who first met Hanson at an open mic party as a 22-year-old college student, claimed her excitement turned into anguish when she met the veteran producer for a drink at a Soho bar in 2008 to discuss a script he had promised to show on the BBC and Channel 4.
“She claimed that Hanson told her, ‘You know I like you, don’t you …” She added, “My heart sank down to my toes. I felt so horrible and uncomfortable because that clearly meant that my talent was irrelevant to his interest in me.
The woman claims her next memory was Hanson having sex with her without her consent in a house she did not know. She said: ‘I was so upset that I missed one of my final exams. nightmares and panic attacks. ‘”
Hanson told the newspaper he would fight the allegations “because I know that’s not how I am.”
The producer’s lawyer said in a statement: “Our client is shocked and appalled by these historic and false allegations of inappropriate conduct towards women. He maintains that he has never acted inappropriately on any production, or everything, and has never had any complaints. about his conduct over several decades in the media industry. Our client has worked with and supported hundreds of people, including countless women, and has never Heard such allegations. For the avoidance of doubt, our client denies any wrongdoing and will do whatever is necessary to repair any damage to his hard-earned professional and personal reputation. He is ready to cooperate fully with any formal investigation.
The Times notes: “The Golden Globe-winning producer has expressed support for the MeToo movement, criticizing BAFTA – of which he was a member – for not doing more when first told of the allegations of sexual misconduct. against actor and director, Noel Clarke. “
BAFTA suspended Hanson’s membership and issued the following statement: “BAFTA is an arts charity and does not have the authority to investigate allegations of historical abuse, so we referred the matter to the police. The behavior alleged by these accounts is heinous, in total opposition to Bafta values and has no place in our industry. “
Referring to After Life, Netflix said, “While the allegations are unrelated to his time on the show, we immediately took him out of production and referred the matter to the police.”
In a press release published by Deadline, Ricky Gervais commented: “I am shocked and dismayed to learn of the historic allegations made by a number of women against Charlie Hanson. The decision has been made to immediately withdraw him from production and I am convinced that the case is dealt with extensively. “
A spokesperson for Hanson’s agent, United Agents, said: “We were shocked to learn of the historic allegations. While this matter is under investigation, we have suspended our representation of him. “