The BBC have pulled the plug on a documentary about the sexual exploitation of teenage models as they deemed it insensitive in light of the recent Jimmy Savile allegations, and are planning instead to show a Panorama investigation into the late TV presenter highlighting the current scandal surrounding him.
As everyone is now aware, Jimmy Savile has been accused of the sexual abuse of up to 120 boys and girls spanning almost six decades of his TV career after ITV showed an Exposure documentary featuring the statements of witnesses and victims of this abuse.
Whilst more victims come forward daily the BBC, who have also been accused in the investigation of covering up Savile’s paedophilic behaviour, is now hoping to air a Panorama investigation into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal on Monday, rather than the prescheduled documentary regarding the sexual exploitation of teenage models.
The Panorama team are currently in a race against time to get the finishing touches and editing on their documentary done in time for it to be aired on Monday, the day before the director general George Entwistle appears before the culture, media and sport select committee, over the allegations. Editor Tom Giles has commented that they were all ‘working very hard’ to get it edited into a 30 minute programme, however the programme could potentially be delayed until after Entwistle appears before MPs.
A delay into this would cause even more controversy, especially as it is set to look into the decision to drop a Newsnight investigation into Savile last year, as well as the conduct of BBC presenters past and present.
The select committee’s chair, Conservative MP John Whittingdale, said there would need to be ‘a very good reason’ for the documentary not to be transmitted on Monday.
Director general George Entwistle is due to appear before MPs next week to discuss the Jimmy Savile scandal, with Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders saying: “I find that [a delay of the broadcast] extraordinary and would expect Entwistle to give a full explanation when he comes before the committee.”
A final decision on when the documentary will be aired won’t be made until the weekend, but if it is decided that it is not ready, it is highly unlikely that the BBC will run with the original teen model documentary exposing the sexual exploitation and abuse of under-age models.
Storyville: Girl Model follows a 13-year-old Siberian girl who was sent to Japan on the promise of a profitable career as a model, but despite having already aired on BBC4, broadcasters have decided to pull it out of schedule ‘in the light of sensitivities surrounding recent events’.