On the day that Stuart Hall admitted sexually abusing 13 underage females between the ages of 9 and 17, the British Broadcasting Corporation has announced an overhaul of its bullying and harassment policy following a review and a mandated report following the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The company promises to promote informal conflict resolution now, where formal was the preferred method before and was a deterrent to people coming forward.
"Grievances will now be heard using managers from outside the division where the issue has arisen," the BBC announced, and added that it "will be removing derogatory statement restrictions, also known as "gagging clauses," from future BBC contracts."
The report on the Savile sexual abuse scandal was done in conjuction with human rights lawyer Dinah Rose and the BBC's in-house human resources department.
“I have been very impressed by the integrity and determination with which the BBC has undertaken this important piece of work," Rose said. "The BBC's senior management has been willing to listen to difficult and uncomfortable messages, and to accept criticism, and has sought to make practical and effective recommendations for the future."
Thirty-seven sexual harassment claims have been filed at the BBC during the last six years. Bullying is apparently a bigger problem than sexual harassment at the company, according to the report. The report looked at "current BBC policies and processes relating to sexual harassment, as well as what it is like to work at the BBC more broadly with regard to respect and appropriate behavior for staff and freelancers."
"Our staff are our greatest strength, and this report shows that they are proud to work for the BBC and that we have a culture based on values that are strongly held. Parts of this report do however make uncomfortable reading," said BBC director general Tony Hall.
Good on them for this, but this is way too little too late in my opinion. I believe the damage that has been done to the BBC brand will haunt it for years to come, as every new announcement of more people being involved makes it look like the inmates have been running that asylum for quite some time.