“Trust chairman Rona Fairhead said that the BBC had “failed” the victims”.
A long-awaited report carried out by former court of appeal judge Dame Janet Smith into the sex offenses of prominent celebrities including Jimmy Savile has claimed that the BBC maintained a “culture of fear and oppression” around challenging the stars, according to the Guardian.
His crimes included raping a 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl.
The Dame Janet Smith review, published today, revealed the corporation knew of complaints against pervert Savile, but senior management were not told because of a culture of fear.
One junior female employee at the BBC’s headquarters in west London was told “keep your mouth shut, he is a VIP” when she complained that she had been sexually assaulted by Savile to a supervisor, the report found.
The 73-year-old also said Dame Janet’s report made no suggestion he was guilty of misconduct with the teenager, nor did a coroner’s inquest or a subsequent police inquiry into her death after she took her own life.
A total of 375 witnesses were interviewed about Savile’s conduct with a further 100 about fellow former BBC presenter Hall.
As a result, Smith concludes that senior managers at the BBC were largely unaware of the sexual assaults; a lawyer representing some of Savile’s victims slammed that conclusion as an “expensive whitewash” that fails to hold BBC management accountable.
There were also two chances to stop Hall’s offending at BBC Manchester in the 1970s, Dame Janet said.
Smith said the BBC investigated the corruption allegations but did not investigate the treatment of young girls with anything like the same focus.
“The BBC have made clear that they are not terminating my relationship with them because of any misconduct”, Blackburn said.
Savile, who began his career as a radio DJ, before coming one of the most recognisable faces on BBC television died in 2011, and is now considered to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.
A draft of the report leaked last month criticised the BBC’s “deferential culture” and “untouchable stars ” “.
The allegations against Savile came to light soon after his death when five women came forward on ITV, a rival broadcaster, and said Savile had abused them in the 1970s.
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NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “This report demonstrates just how disturbingly easy at the time it was for Savile to get away, unchallenged, with despicable acts against children at the BBC“.
In his speech, Hall addressed Savile’s victims directly.
BBC DJ Tony Blackburn was sacked on the eve of the report’s release and has promised legal action. He added that the BBC had been “too hierarchical, too self-absorbed” and had had a “macho culture ” .