BBC boss stunned by previous 'unacceptable' Russell Brand content
Some of Russell Brand’s content was removed from the BBC’s platforms and now boss Tim Davie has questioned how it was able to run in the first place.
The Rock of Ages actor has been hit with accusations of rape, emotional abuse and sexual assault by several women spanning the height of his fame from 2006 to 2013.
His tour has been postponed and YouTube channel demonetised in the wake of the Dispatches, The Times, and Sunday Times investigation into the 48-year-old.
Since the news broke on Saturday, further concerning stories about Brand’s behaviour have come to light, including comedian Katherine Ryan calling him a predator multiple times to his face.
Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC, has said the entire broadcasting industry should be ‘very vigilant’ following these allegations.
‘You look back and this industry has definitely faced significant issues with regard to a deep power imbalance in certain places, between so-called talent, presenters, and others working on shows, there’s no doubt about that,’ he said during a long-arranged session with BBC staff on Tuesday.
In a pre-emptive video posted on YouTube, Brand denied all allegations and accused the media of a ‘co-ordinated attack’.
According to Davie, the BBC’s processes have changed, including on its code of conduct, values and the corporation has a non-negotiable anti-bullying and harassment policy.
He added: ‘There is no room for complacency. I do feel we’re in a different place, I’m proud of our culture, but to say that doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers.
‘We should all be looking after each other, we should be very vigilant, we should keep improving our processes.’
The BBC previously said that it felt some of Brand’s material ‘fell below public expectations’ so had decided to remove this from it’s platforms.
Channel 4 has also removed content featuring the St Trinian’s actor, including the Great British Bake Off and Big Brother box sets that Brand appeared on.
Davie added: ‘Lastly, I’d say I do think we’re in a different place, over 15 years. When I listened back, frankly, to some of those broadcasts I think, that is just completely unacceptable.
‘What led to that being on air? I just look at that stuff and I say there is no way I will listen to that, there’s no way I accept it.
‘We have to be clear about that together, that we will not accept that.’
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