Is the BBC facing its #MeToo moment?

Is the BBC facing its #MeToo moment?

Sometimes change can feel like an all-too-slow ripple effect – the #MeToo movement included. Even with some huge wins, it can often feel that we take one step forward and two steps back when it comes to empowering victims to come forward.

But now another bastion of the entertainment industry is reportedly reckoning with allegations of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour, after The Sun revealed last week that the BBC is facing complaints about Strictly Come Dancing dancer, Giovanni Pernice.

According to reports, a number of former Strictly female contestants, who were all paired with Giovanni on the show, are coming forward to share their experiences of Giovanni’s behaviour, prompting an internal investigation at the BBC.

The women, one of whom is believed to be Amanda Abbington, are being represented by the top legal firm Carter Ruck, who have told The Sun that they have submitted numerous serious complaints about the dancer to the BBC. Amanda has yet to comment on the allegations.

Carter Ruck have confirmed in a statement (via multiple publications, including The Times and that the BBC are “evidence gathering”.

“There have been numerous serious complaints made to the BBC who are now in the process of evidence gathering. As it is still an ongoing matter no further comment can be made at this stage,” the statement reads.

According to reports, the broadcaster is looking at hundreds of hours of Strictly footage from the last nine years that Giovanni has spent as a professional dancer on the show.

At time of writing, Giovanni will not be returning for the next series of Strictly. Giovanni has rejected allegations of abusive behaviour. In a statement on Instagram, he wrote: “You will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week.

“Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name. Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive. No-one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me.

Guy Levy

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