Comparing Entertainment Scandals Through Time

The more I learn about the BBC sex abuse scandal, the more I am reminded of the 2014 CBC Jian Ghomeshi scandal, which I’ve written about before. Both cases involve sex abuse, fame and what appears to be willful ignorance on the part of upper management. The practice of allowing star employees are allowed to harass others with impunity is a horrible tendency that some workplace cultures seem to be taking on in the entertainment industry. The only true substantive difference between these two cases is the time in which they took place – Saville’s abuses happened decades ago, while Ghomeshi’s are more recent. This is an ongoing problem that entertainment industry leaders cannot ignore, and need to take a firmer stand against. Read more on the Saville case at the New York Times.

Thai Workers on Israeli Farms

The conditions on these Israeli farms, if true, constitute modern day slavery. These Thai workers are forced to work unconscionable hours, and much of their pay is “sent back to Thailand” by their employers – though they have no way of verifying that. Additionally, they’re paid far less than the minimum wage, and are oftentimes forced to sleep in former animal shacks and containers that used to store chemicals. Workers feel like money-making objects for their employers, and have no recourse to ask for help or a fair shake. This is a horrible way to treat workers, and deserves more investigation. Read more at BBC News.

Photo Credit: BBC News

Response to BBC Scandal

This story is harrowing. The Jimmy Savile sexual assault scandal at the BBC is one of the worst ways a harmful workplace culture can manifest itself. The report described in this article cites a culture at the BBC that “discouraged young women from filing complaints” about “sexual misconduct or harassment in particular.” Just as upsetting is the idea presented in the report that the atmosphere for whistle blowers is even worse now than it was when Savile was there. What explains the gross negligence at the BBC? Was it a culture of indifference, a lack of knowledge or a lack of belief? Considering the ample evidence amassed (over 400 witnesses to Savile’s abuses were interviewed to compile the report), it’s easy to believe that the truth was willfully ignored by those who didn’t have the courage to stand up to the worst of the worst kind of workplace bully. You can read more about the scandal at The New York Times.

Top Fear – Would Jeremy Clarkson’s workplace bullying have been tolerated at the CBC?

BBC’s Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was let go due to workplace bullying. In Canada, a similar situation with CBC host Jian Ghomeshi was dealt with in a very different way. How does the BBC’s response to workplace bullying compare to the CBC’s?