"It is wrong to portray it as being focused on sexual harassment or targeting individuals."
Presenter Mishal Husain has openly criticised an article published by The Sunday Times. The publication had claimed BBC female employees had created a group, focused on allegations of sexual harassment.
However, Mishal has described the article as “inaccurate” and “wrong” of the newspaper with its focus.
The Sunday Times published the story on 29th October 2017, headlining it as “Mishal Husain and Victoria Derbyshire among top BBC women exposing ‘sex pests’”. It also contained a sole image of the British Asian BBC presenter.
The article itself claimed that female employees had banded together, composed of senior editors and presenters. The creation of this group came after the exposure of the BBC gender pay gap.
In addition, the publication claimed that their focus had shifted to sexual harassment in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. It reported that the group had “uncovered a string of suspected cases of sexual harassment at the corporation”.
However, the Today presenter shared a message regarding the article on Twitter. Slamming its claims, Mishal explained: “It is an inaccurate portrayal of conversations women at the BBC have been having since the pay gaps were identified in July.”
She went on to clarify how the group works as a “forum for female colleagues to come together”. The BBC presenter also added that the group discussed many different subjects, concluding:
“It is wrong to portray it as being focused on sexual harassment or targeting individuals.”
— Mishal Husain (@MishalHusainBBC) October 29, 2017
This follows after the BBC suspended Radio 5 Live sports presenter George Riley. Reports claim that he had become the subject of sexual harassment allegations, with the Daily Mirror reporting that five women had made complaints about him.
However, a BBC spokesperson said of the matter: “We can’t comment on individuals, but treat any allegations seriously and have processes in place for investigating them.”
In addition, a Washington correspondent named Rajini Vaidyanathan revealed her own experiences of unwanted sexual advances.
In a blog post, the BBC employee revealed how she received a comment from an older man saying: “I’m unbelievably sexually attracted to you. I can’t stop thinking about you.”
The Sunday Times has not responded to Mishal Husain’s comments as of yet.