Last week, the BBC released the results of a three-year inquiry on deceased sexual abuser and former BBC host Jimmy Savile. The inquiry, which cost the broadcasting network £6.5m, was led by Dame Janet Smith, who interviewed nearly 500 people and compiled a three-volume report that totaled 1,000 pages.
According to a BBC News broadcast on the inquiry, “The Dame Janet Smith review identified 72 victims of Savile – including eight who were raped – and 21 victims of [broadcaster Stuart] Hall, over five decades from 1959.” Hall, 85, was released from jail last year. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to more than a dozen indecent assaults on children and was fired from the BBC, as iMediaEthics wrote.
Responding to Smith’s review in a Feb. 25 statement, the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall apologized to the victims. “What happened was profoundly wrong,” he wrote. “It should never have started. It should certainly have been stopped.” Hall went on:
“A serial rapist and a predatory sexual abuser both hid in plain sight at the BBC for decades. It was a dark chapter in the history of the organisation, but a much darker one for all of you. The BBC failed you when it should have protected you. I am deeply sorry for the hurt caused to each and every one of you.”
Hall acknowledged that the BBC should have done more, saying “it seems to me that the BBC could have known” about the abuse and put some of the blame on the “culture of the BBC at the time.”
Moving forward, Hall spelled out things that will change at the BBC, including examining how the BBC handles “concerns and complaints,” the new BBC “child protection policy,” the BBC’s “improved whistle-blowing policy” and a hotline.
When asked for further comment about the inquiry, the BBC pointed iMediaEthics to Tony Hall’s above statement. iMediaEthics has written to Stuart Hall’s attorney for comment about the review.
Yorkshire Post Won’t Publish Savile’s Photos
UK news outlet The Yorkshire Post will no longer publish photos of Jimmy Savile.
In 2014, the BBC announced it will not show select footage of Savile to protect victims. “We have reviewed references to Jimmy Savile across archive footage, including a number which were brought to our attention. Where the material is likely to cause offence to his victims it is removed” the BBC said at the time. This was announced after the BBC showed footage of Savile “leering over a young woman on Top Of The Pops, and apparently brushing her top,” the Daily Mail reported with a screenshot.
“The BBC didn’t ban footage of Savile though we do try to take care about which pictures we use and how we use them,” the BBC’s David Jordan wrote to iMediaEthics.
In a Feb. 26 opinion article, The Yorkshire Post said:
“Even though he was the face of popular entertainment for decades, Jimmy Savile’s sexual depravity was such that most people, not least his many, many victims, are so repulsed by the sight of the predatory paedophile’s photograph that they do not deserve gratuitous reminders of the haunting image and the sickening memories it brings back.”
“As Dame Janet Smith’s shocking report revealed the extent to which the manipulative Leeds broadcaster abused his position at the BBC, and the trust of his young fans, The Yorkshire Post has taken the decision to refrain from publishing images of the disgraced DJ.
“After all, this monster’s victims – the most important people of all – continue to be haunted by Savile from beyond the grave because there is no end to the revelations, Nor, too, do all those who were taken in by Savile’s depraved deceit and how he used his untouchable status to abuse the vulnerable and the impressionable with total impunity for decades.
iMediaEthics has written to The Yorkshire Post for further comment.
Hat Tip: Hold the Front Page
UPDATE: 3/1/2016 4:30 PM EST Clarified the BBC’s position on showing footage of Savile.