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Last Monday (12.11.12) I attended a debate hosted at BAFTA on Sexism in the UK’s TV industry. The debate was (I assume) created in response to claims made across various platforms during the recent ‘Savile’ crisis that the culture of sexism / sexual harassment that had existed during the 70s & 80s have improved today. This post is my report and thoughts on the points made during that debate. Please note I am not making any comments on the Savile investigation into allegations of child abuse, which are a phenomenal criminal offence that should be handled by the professional police authorities and legal services. My interest in this subject is on how the dialogue about sexism, sexual discrimination and harassment within the TV sector that has emerged as one narratives of this story was treated within this debate.

 The story on Jimmy Savile’s alleged sexual abuse broke in early October this year and it was during this early stage of events unfolding that prominent media personalities including Radio DJ Liz Kershaw TV / Radio presenter Sandi Toksvig revealed their personal experiences of sexual harassment within the sector during the 70s and 80s. The media reported and spoke about a culture of silence and fear on speaking out against instances of sexual harassment that existed in the 1980s TV sector. A question that emerged as a result of that discussion was ‘could this happen today?’  Read the rest of this entry »

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Miriam O’Reilly has won a landmark tribunal against the BBC for ageism in the UK visual media. As a researcher specialising in gender and the media the tribunal could not be a more timely case study. I would like to state that I am not able to comment on the tribunal’s decision or on the BBC’s conduct. I am not a media professional and therefore not in a position to do so. what I find interesting in this case is how the application of gender theory to the final court settlement (which upheld a claim of age discrimination over sex discrimination) offers interesting insight to the story.

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