More child sex abuse allegations have surfaced inside the British Broadcasting Corporation. They include current network staff and contributors, as well as some who have left the network.
Twenty BBC employees have faced a total of 36 allegations of sexually abusing children and teenage victims since the Jimmy Savile scandal rocked the U.K. public broadcaster last year, according to the Guardian.
The complaints, about an unknown number of victims under the age of 18, have come to light in the six months since October, according to the response to a Freedom of Information request to the BBC.
The BBC said in a statement that it was “horrified” by the allegations made against the 20, who have worked for the BBC in some capacity over the past five decades.
The Beeb can claim that it’s “horrified,” but the fact is, it was permissive. Allegations had swirled around Saville for decades, but the network turned a blind eye to it all. Mike McNally reported on that for the Tatler last year.
When the allegations against the star became widespread the BBC’s Newsnight program began an investigation, but the report was never aired. The BBC is investigating both the decision to pull the investigation and the allegations against Savile, and senior figures in the corporation are to be quizzed by a parliamentary committee.
There’s a note of irony about the scandal in which the BBC finds itself embroiled. One reason why, at least in the 1960s and 1970s, Savile‘s bosses and colleagues were able to ignore or excuse his behavior was that it was taking place against the backdrop of the sexual revolution, and the advent of the “permissive society,” which the BBC played no small part in celebrating and promoting (for more on the prevailing “culture” at the BBC, read this eye-popping account by a female presenter). Nowadays, such is the extent to which the corporation has embraced the modern diktats of political correctness, any male employee who so much as holds the lift door open for a female colleague risks being hit with a sex discrimination complaint.
The morality here is a tad backwards, no?
The question now is, did the BBC let Saville go all those years because he was such a star, or because his conduct wasn’t particularly unusual among his peers at the network?