News / Arts & Entertainment

BBC Facing Criticism Over Pedophilia Allegatiions

The late TV entertainer Jimmy Savile is now at the center of a pedophilia investigation in BritainThe late TV entertainer Jimmy Savile is now at the center of a pedophilia investigation in Britain
x
The late TV entertainer Jimmy Savile is now at the center of a pedophilia investigation in Britain
The late TV entertainer Jimmy Savile is now at the center of a pedophilia investigation in Britain
Selah Hennessy
The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, is coming under harsh scrutiny following an avalanche of sexual abuse allegations against one of its best-known TV hosts.
 
The allegations involving as many as 300 victims of pedophilia or sexual abuse have been made against former TV entertainer Jimmy Savile, who died last year at age 84 after a long career in the British spotlight. He was a popular on light entertainment programs for the BBC and a special favorite of young children.

Fallout from the BBC's handling of the scandal has spread as far as the United States, where the publisher of the New York Times felt it necessary to defend the newspaper’s incoming chief executive officer who headed the BBC until last month.

Early this month ITV, a commercial British broadcaster, aired a TV program investigating claims that Savile had sexually abused under-aged girls. In the weeks since then, investigations have been launched internally by the BBC and also by the police - and the scope of allegations have far exceeded the initial claims.
 
"We have now been able to identify 300 victims and it's those victims - primarily women, there are one or two men involved so far - we've now been able to speak to 130 of them and from that 130 we have recorded about 114 allegations of sexual assault or serious sexual assault," said police commander Peter Spindler, chief of the Scotland Yard unit investigating the allegations.

Many of the attacks Savile is alleged to have made were against young participants in BBC programs and on BBC premises. That has raised questions about what type of checks the BBC had in place to protect vulnerable individuals.

Rumors had been widespread

BBC management is also under scrutiny over how much it knew about Savile’s alleged pedophilia.

Over the past few weeks, it has emerged that rumors of Savile’s alleged pedophilia were widespread inside the BBC for many years. Following Savile’s death, the BBC was due to address the subject on its evening news program, Newsnight. But the program was shelved and instead the BBC aired tributes to the former host.
 
Now executives at the highest level of the BBC are under scrutiny over their handling of the Savile case.

The incoming New York Times CEO, Mark Thompson, has been questioned about the BBC's handling of the scandal.The incoming New York Times CEO, Mark Thompson, has been questioned about the BBC's handling of the scandal.
x
The incoming New York Times CEO, Mark Thompson, has been questioned about the BBC's handling of the scandal.
The incoming New York Times CEO, Mark Thompson, has been questioned about the BBC's handling of the scandal.
The BBC’s new director general, George Entwistle, has faced questioning by British lamakers; and Mark Thompson, the former BBC Director General and incoming chief executive at the New York Times, has had to give his own account of what he knew about the Savile case.

The New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., issued a letter to the newspaper’s staff saying he was confident Thompson had no role in cancelling the BBC’s Newsnight  program that was to deal with the sexual abuse allegations against Savile.
 
Some industry analysts, however, doubt that one scandal, though serious, will cause permanent damage to the BBC’s reputation.
 
“Trust in the BBC is bigger than one individual; it's bigger than one scandal,” said  Ben Page, chief executive of market researcher Ipsos MORI. “It would take a successive series of scandals to ultimately really damage trust in the BBC. So undoubtedly it will be wobbly but it has a lot of resilience in its reputation.”

In addition to Jimmy Savile, the BBC says it’s now investigating claims of sexual abuse and harassment against nine staff members and contributors.

Information from the AP was included in this report

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."