Thursday, 2 May 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1015: Aunty Beeb What Happened?

First thing is a question I have to ask...









Seriously, in the aftermath of the atrocities of the late pervo-supremo Jimmy Saville the BBC is rocked by even more scandals. Another one of their broadcasters has pled guilty to multiple child molestation charges, more arrests and investigations connected to what police call "Operation Yewtree" are happening every day. Also, a new report from the BBC's own internal inquiry says that sexual harassment is "rare" but bullying is "prominent."

Now sexual harassment, in its truest form, is a kind of bullying, so we can pretty much declare that this report is probably playing a little semantic game. Such games, and that it is an internal inquiry is causing me to assume that sexual harassment is probably rampant, and bullying, in all its forms, is probably constant and never-ending.

Now the BBC is supposed to be a bastion of fairly stuffy broadcasting excellence run by a collection of stuffy professionals. Harassment and bullying are not supposed to exist in a professional environment, and pedophilia has no place on this planet, let alone inside the halls of a venerable broadcasting institution.

So what's wrong?

Why is all this happening?

You can boil it down to a two-word catchphrase "corporate culture."

You see while it is supported by license fees which are taken from the British people like a tax, it is still a corporation. Some like to think corporations are some sort of sociopathic alien life form that has no relationship with anything on Earth, but that's wrong.

Corporations are not aliens, they are just groups of people working together to perform some sort of function. When groups of people form to perform some sort of function, be it to grow crops, make money, or make television, cultures form around them.

These cultures are unique to each group, and can continue long after its founders are gone, as if they're part of the atmosphere. These cultures have their own form of hierarchies, and unwritten rules concerning how people go up the hierarchical ladder, what is permitted, and what is not permitted.

I fear that the BBC's corporate culture took root during its time as a monopoly. Remember, when it first started, all other broadcasting in the UK was illegal. Now that's unheard of here in North America, but it was the truth in Great Britain, at least for a while.

Now market and political pressures forced the government to loosen the broadcasting laws, allowing private entities to compete with the BBC, but the damage to the Beeb's corporate culture had been done.

It strikes me that the BBC runs as if it is not just a television network, but that it's a government institution that still has a monopoly on what the greater British public sees, hears and thinks. This means that they can operate as a law onto itself, doing, saying, and spending on whatever they want whenever they want, and get away with it, because who is going to snitch them out or dare criticize them? While they didn't fear snitching or criticism at first because they were a monopoly, they now don't expect it because they think no one will want to rock the BBC boat for fear of being at the Beeb The Great & Powerful's mercy at some future date.

Then there's how people go up the ladder at the venerable institution. Like a lot of businesses those who run it are more often picked for their jobs based on politics over merit. Now I'm not saying "politics" as in which political party they vote for, I'm using "politics" as once defined by David Mamet as all that petty interpersonal backstabbing bullshit that gets in the way of getting the job done.

So you end up with regular accusations of cronyism, favouritism, and a toxic work atmosphere that say that those who have the ears of the people in power can get away with, if not murder, bullying, harassment, and even child molestation.

Private enterprise has a line where if crossed people will be fired and houses will be cleaned out. Now this is farther away the bigger the company and the bigger  and more spread out the parent corporation, but the line is still there.

However, with BBC's financing mandated by law, that line is really, really, really far away. So reforming this corporate culture is going to take something just shy of a miracle.


  1. Feels like a slightly strange direction to go with the current revelations. For one thing it seems odd to try and demand reforms to the current Beeb based on actions in the 70's. For another as more and more of these cases come up it seems clear that this was a much bigger celebrity problem not a single channel one.

  2. Then you didn't read the whole thing. The molestations are what drew the curtain on a corporate culture rife with bullying, harassment, and cronyism.

    That's what I was calling for reform on.

  3. Forgive the conspiracy theories, but why would be BBC suddenly be having these exposures? Could it be that the conservatives are running the government now and pushing the investigations? The BBC's left bias well documented and notorious. Could it be that the previous powers who might investigate BBC criminality wouldn't want to rock the boat as long as the network was laundering taxpayer money into what was effectively political advertising for the left?

    The same goes for Hollywood - which has its own not yet publicly exposed issues with pedophilia.