On Sunday, The BBC received a flurry of complaints from viewers when they aired an old episode of a kids television show called “The Tweenies” on the digital network CBeebies which featured a character dressed as disgraced TV host Jimmy Savile. BBC has shown reruns of the show for years, and the episode in question was filmed in 2001. CBeebies is a network which has programming aimed at children aged 4-6 years old.
For those of you who may not know British police have recently said that Savile, known best for his hosting duties on BBC music charts Top of the Pops, sexually abused more than 200 people (some of them on the BBC premises), most of those children. The scene that drew such negative attention featured a character in a blonde wig and track suit using Savile’s accent and catchphrases. Savile died in 2011 at the age of 84.
The BBC issued an apology, saying "This morning CBeebies broadcast a repeat of an episode of the Tweenies, originally made in 2001, featuring a character dressed as a DJ impersonating Jimmy Savile. This program will not be repeated, and we are very sorry for any offense caused."
Some viewers took to Twitter to express their anger and confusion of the BBC’s choice to air the episode. One person Tweeted “I'm not sure this was a good choice of DJ to impersonate on The Tweenies today,” while another said "Are BBC trying to self destruct?".
Do you think it was a big mistake for The BBC to air this episode?