One hundred and fifty two new sex abuse allegations have been made against dozens of BBC employees as well as its most famous TV presenter. The new allegations have been brought in the Jimmy Savile sex scandal that erupted last year. About 40 of the accused BBC employees still work for the broadcasting giant.
Early in 2013, four years after he died at age 84, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse of teens and young people were lodged against one of the BBC’s most famous and long-standing TV and radio presenters, Jimmy Savile. The scandal rocked the British Isles, as Savile was a popular entertainer, radio disc jockey, charity representative, and TV personality from the 1960s up until his death in 2009.
The scandal roiled for months as steady stream of new people came forward claiming that Savile and his cohorts at the British Broadcasting Corporation had abused them when they were young.
A government report released last year noted that Savile, “was hiding in plain sight and using his celebrity status and fund-raising activity to gain uncontrolled access to vulnerable people across six decades.”
The scandal only grew as other staffers, both current and past, were accused of abuse from as far back as the 1950s.
Later in the year the scandal faded a bit from the front pages as the investigation rolled onward. But now, over a year after the scandal first erupted, more allegations are being announced.
Now, an additional 152 allegations against BBC employees have now been made public proving that the scandal is far from over.
Thirty-six of the new accusations were made by citizens who were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged abuse. The BBC refused to comment on specific allegations but said in a statement that it was “appalled” by the continuing scandal.
“We have launched a series of reviews that aim to understand if there are any issues with the current culture of the BBC or the historic culture and practices from as far back as 1965,” the statement said, “to see what lessons can be learned to prevent this happening again.”
Of the BBC employees accused, 41 have already passed away while 40 are still employed by the media outlet. Police report that they are investigating 25 BBC employees currently.
Only one conviction of sex abuse has been achieved to date. Former BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall, 83, admitted that he was guilty of abusing 13 girls ranging in ages from 9 to 17 between 1968 and 1986.
But British police have been accused of ignoring the Savile scandal for 50 years and public trust in authorities and the BBC has taken a hit.
There have been other repercussions. The Savile case, along with other missteps, was responsible for the resignation of BBC chief, George Entwistle, in November of 2012.
There have been many questions about what the director before Entwistle knew of the scandal, as well. Mark Thompson was the Director General of the BBC just before George Entwistle took that spot. Thompson quit the BBC last September to take the job as chief of The New York Times.
Thompson has been accused of lying when he said he was unaware of any allegations of sexual abuse during his stint as BBC chief, a tenure that lasted eight years.
Tony Hall, the BBC’s current director general, has promised to overhaul the broadcaster’s culture to eliminate any further possibilities that BBC employees could use their positions as lures to abuse those at risk.