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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."