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Channel 4, the BBC and Banikay UK have all launched internal investigations following the allegations of sexual assault and rape made against Russell Brand in a joint investigation by C4’s Dispatches, The Times and The Sunday Times.

In the wake of Saturday’s revelations, laid out in articles in the newspapers and in C4’s 90-minute special, Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, BBC director of editorial complaints and reviews Peter Johnston is leading a BBC review into Brand’s behaviour during his employment at the corporation.

Director-general Tim Davie told the Royal Television Society convention that he intended to publish an initial report drawing on Johnston’s findings within weeks.

The comedian hosted shows for both BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 2 and the review will look into, among other things, whether Brand used BBC cars to pick up one of the women to collect her from school when she was 16.

“We’ll look at any complaints made about Russell Brand’s conduct during his time, what was known at the time, what was done - so full transparency, we’re digging into anything that we’ve got there,” said Davie.  

Pointing to a “deep power imbalance” between ‘talent’ and other production team members, he said it was important for the BBC to set out its expectations, including a “non-negotiable” anti-bullying and harassment policy and a clear code of conduct, and for staff to have confidence that they can raise concerns.

Channel 4

Meanwhile, Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon vowed that her organisation would be one of the broadcasters “at the forefront of change” in the industry.

She told the convention that C4’s review will establish “who knew what, who was told what, and what was or wasn’t referred up”.

Mahon said the documentary “provided a shocking jolt” in demonstrating how “terrible behaviour towards women was tolerated in our industry … not that long ago.”

In a LinkedIn post, Mahon stressed C4’s “zero tolerance” policy towards unacceptable behaviour.

“Speak to us, or, if you prefer, use our confidential and anonymous Speak Up facility,” she urged. “All these routes get taken very seriously and are investigated. I expect that more information will come into the light about misbehaviour in our sector so that we can truly understand what we have to deal with.”

C4 chief content officer Ian Katz has written to indies asking for anyone to share any information on the allegations.

He said he wants to “reinforce the need for all our current production partners to follow our Supplier Code of Conduct and raise any concerns with us immediately during production”. 

Banijay UK

Banijay UK, which owns the Endemol, producer of C4’s Brand-fronted show Big Brother’s Big Mouth – on which several crew members are reported to have complained about the host’s behaviour – has launched its own “urgent” internal investigation.

In a statement, it said: “Banijay UK will cooperate with any requests for information from broadcast partners and external agencies. We also encourage anybody who feels that they were affected by Brand’s behaviour while working on these productions to contact us in confidence.” 

Both the BBC and Channel 4 have removed shows featuring Brand from their on-demand services in the wake of the allegations becoming public.

In a video released online prior to C4’s broadcast of Hardcash Productions’ doc, Brand denied the allegations and said that all sexual contact was “consensual”.

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