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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Graham Nash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once for his work with The Hollies and once as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash. The legendary folk-rocker joins "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his latest project, “CSN 2012,” which captured on video recent live performances by Crosby, Stills & Nash.