A leaked draft of a report has revealed how serial sex offender and long-time BBC star Jimmy Savile got away with preying on children. Investigative news site Exaro News got hold of a report by Dame Janet Smith, who was hired by the BBC to investigate the Savile scandal. The parts of Smith’s report which have been published are very interesting.
Basically, Smith reports that there was a culture at the BBC that meant reporting wrongdoing by senior staff was difficult and stars such as Savile were simply untouchable.
Here are the most interesting bits from the leaked draft of the report:
Smith said her general impression was that it was very difficult for junior staff at the BBC to challenge senior staff at the BBC, and some executives were “above the law.”
A production assistant told Smith that she was told by the BBC’s Personnel Department that complaining about a sexual assault would be “not making the right decision.”
Someone else told Smith that the BBC valued its Talent (senior stars) more than actual values. Apparently they were “prepared to overlook certain things” in order not to lose their Talent.
This culture was so ingrained that junior staff thought their career would be damaged if they made a complaint.
All of these things lead Smith to get the impression that the BBC’s stars were untouchable.
Bizarrely, Smith concludes that people chose to remain at the BBC because it was a “wonderful place to work.” Not because they valued their job more than basic ethics.
Following Exaro’s publishing of the leaked draft Lord Hall, the director general of the BBC, has described the Jimmy Savile affair as a “dark chapter in the history of the BBC.”
He told the BBC News: “The responsible thing must to be act on the final report which we have not received.”
Smith’s team told the BBC they were “disappointed” Exaro had released the draft and said the document was out of date and major changes had been made to its content.
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