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Idris Elba Responds To TREE Authorship Accusations

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Idris Elba Responds To TREE Authorship Accusations

Following accusations by writers Sarah Henley and Tori Allen-Martin on Medium that they were forced off new show TREE after working on it for four years (read our full story here), Kwame Kwei-Armah and the theatres involved all responded with statements.

This afternoon, Idris Elba has also followed with his own personal statement on Twitter, following a previous tweet in support of Kwei-Armah and the show - playing at Manchester International Festival and then the Young Vic.

Elba explains his version of the project's origins, drawing on his "Mi Mandela" album. He claims that everyone involved - including Henley and Allen-Martin - understood that Tree had to go in a new direction following the workshop, and that the pair were "excited at the prospect" of collaborating with Kwei-Armah, as a fellow writer and mentor.

Elba claims that it was Henley and Allen-Martin who declined to be further involved "as new new ambitions started to be proposed", and that it was his contractual right as beholder of the album to proceed without them and find new writers.

Elba notes that the pair do have an acknowledgement in the foreword of the programme, and that he is "very proud of the show that has been created with the company".

He adds that both he and Kwei-Armah "will continue to offer opportunities and to support the next generation of writers and talent".

He also shares lyrics from one of the songs and a link to his "Mi Mandela" album on Spotify.

It's a very different reading of the situation from Henley and Allen-Martin's - who have now raised close to £13,000 via their Burn Bright initiative to support female writers.

Earlier today, Allen-Martin spoke to BBC News about her experience - watch the video here


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