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BBC journalist denies corporation covered up sexual harassment BBC journalist denies corporation covered up sexual harassment
(6 months later)
A BBC journalist has denied claims that the corporation attempted to cover up the sacking of a colleague who had sexually harassed her and other women.A BBC journalist has denied claims that the corporation attempted to cover up the sacking of a colleague who had sexually harassed her and other women.
Rajini Vaidyanathan, a correspondent based in Washington DC, revealed in a blogpost on the BBC website that she had been subjected to sexually inappropriate advances from three married colleagues, one of whom was later fired.Rajini Vaidyanathan, a correspondent based in Washington DC, revealed in a blogpost on the BBC website that she had been subjected to sexually inappropriate advances from three married colleagues, one of whom was later fired.
She was inspired to write the piece by the #Me Too social media movement, used by women to share experiences of sexual harassment, which emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.She was inspired to write the piece by the #Me Too social media movement, used by women to share experiences of sexual harassment, which emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
But the Daily Telegraph seized on her experience as an example of a BBC cover-up, alleging the corporation “hushed up” the sacking of Vaidyanathan’s colleague, an accusation she immediately and angrily denied.But the Daily Telegraph seized on her experience as an example of a BBC cover-up, alleging the corporation “hushed up” the sacking of Vaidyanathan’s colleague, an accusation she immediately and angrily denied.
“To be clear,” she wrote in a thread of tweets. “The @dailytelegraph write up of my #metoo experience contains errors. The BBC DID NOT try to hush up the sacking of a colleague who sent harassing messages to women inc me. Managers were v open about it after. He was sacked within days of person making a complaint.“To be clear,” she wrote in a thread of tweets. “The @dailytelegraph write up of my #metoo experience contains errors. The BBC DID NOT try to hush up the sacking of a colleague who sent harassing messages to women inc me. Managers were v open about it after. He was sacked within days of person making a complaint.
“I wasn’t aware of what had happened immediately, as I no longer worked with him. But I found out a while after. There was no cover-up over this I can assure you. Also BBC has been extremely supportive in allowing me to share my story. And continues to be.“I wasn’t aware of what had happened immediately, as I no longer worked with him. But I found out a while after. There was no cover-up over this I can assure you. Also BBC has been extremely supportive in allowing me to share my story. And continues to be.
“In short this headline isn’t what the story should be. The point is people, mainly women, in all industries/workplaces face harassment. My article was to highlight how common it is.”“In short this headline isn’t what the story should be. The point is people, mainly women, in all industries/workplaces face harassment. My article was to highlight how common it is.”
To be clear. The @dailytelegraph write up of my #metoo experience contains errors. The BBC DID NOT try to hush up the sacking of a colleague who sent harassing messages to women inc me. Managers were v open about it after. He was sacked within days of person making a complaint.To be clear. The @dailytelegraph write up of my #metoo experience contains errors. The BBC DID NOT try to hush up the sacking of a colleague who sent harassing messages to women inc me. Managers were v open about it after. He was sacked within days of person making a complaint.
I wasn't aware of what had happened immediately, as I no longer worked with him. But I found out a while after. There was no cover up over this I can assure you. Also BBC has been extremely supportive in allowing me to share my story. And continues to be.I wasn't aware of what had happened immediately, as I no longer worked with him. But I found out a while after. There was no cover up over this I can assure you. Also BBC has been extremely supportive in allowing me to share my story. And continues to be.
In short this headline isn't what the story should be. The point is people, mainly women, in all industries/workplaces face harassment. My article was to highlight how common it is. #metoo. pic.twitter.com/glc9eIRKeWIn short this headline isn't what the story should be. The point is people, mainly women, in all industries/workplaces face harassment. My article was to highlight how common it is. #metoo. pic.twitter.com/glc9eIRKeW
In her blogpost, Vaidyanathan revealed that a few years ago a married colleague started sending her sexually explicit messages.In her blogpost, Vaidyanathan revealed that a few years ago a married colleague started sending her sexually explicit messages.
She wrote: “I was horrified but at first I thought I needed to be polite, as there was a chance we’d work together again (why do women always feel they need to be polite in these situations?)She wrote: “I was horrified but at first I thought I needed to be polite, as there was a chance we’d work together again (why do women always feel they need to be polite in these situations?)
“I didn’t really know what to say, so I responded telling him that it sounded pretty normal for some men to think like that, hoping he’d go away.“I didn’t really know what to say, so I responded telling him that it sounded pretty normal for some men to think like that, hoping he’d go away.
“But his messages continued and became more creepy. He said he’d fantasised about sex with powerful women, and how he wanted to cheat on his wife.“But his messages continued and became more creepy. He said he’d fantasised about sex with powerful women, and how he wanted to cheat on his wife.
“I told him to talk to someone else – not me – and to get help. I didn’t tell anyone at first. I felt disgusted but kept it to myself.”“I told him to talk to someone else – not me – and to get help. I didn’t tell anyone at first. I felt disgusted but kept it to myself.”
Vaidyanathan later discovered that another female colleague had also received sexually explicit messages from the same man.Vaidyanathan later discovered that another female colleague had also received sexually explicit messages from the same man.
“Soon after I heard he’d been fired,” she said. “Another colleague had filed a complaint against him.”“Soon after I heard he’d been fired,” she said. “Another colleague had filed a complaint against him.”
She also recounted two other examples of another colleague who made sexual advances at an Italian restaurant in New York in 2004 and another married colleague who knocked on her hotel room door after sending her a “suggestive” text.She also recounted two other examples of another colleague who made sexual advances at an Italian restaurant in New York in 2004 and another married colleague who knocked on her hotel room door after sending her a “suggestive” text.
The BBC told the Telegraph it takes any allegations of bullying or harassment very seriously.The BBC told the Telegraph it takes any allegations of bullying or harassment very seriously.
BBCBBC
Sexual harassmentSexual harassment
#MeToo movement#MeToo movement
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