Steve Coogan is taking on one of the U.K.’s most controversial 20th-century figures.
Despite backlash after the announcement of Coogan’s casting in BBC drama series “The Reckoning,” a true crime show about child predator Jimmy Savile, the network has confirmed the show will still be released in 2023. “The Reckoning” was announced in 2020, with filming taking place in 2021.
“We are currently in post-production for transmission later this year,” a spokesperson for the BBC told The Independent. “An exact date will be announced in due course.”
A source previously told The Sun that the network was shelving the series, as there was “fierce backlash” from Savile’s victims. Savile was a presenter of “Top of the Pops.” His decades-long pedophilia practices tied to his work with children and young people were uncovered in 2012, a year after his death at age 84.
The Survivors’ Network organization issued a statement titled “Our Trauma Is Not Your Entertainment” in November 2021, calling the upcoming series “deeply inappropriate and harmful.”
“The exposing of Jimmy Savile’s crimes in 2012 resulted in an influx of people reaching out to our services for support,” the statement read. “This is something that we do not take lightly, and we hope that the BBC won’t either.”
“The Reckoning” is produced by ITV Studios for the BBC, and comes on the heels of Netflix docuseries “Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story.” Per the Netflix description, Savile was one of the United Kingdom’s most beloved TV personalities. Shortly after his death in 2011, an investigation prompted more than 450 horrific allegations of sexual assault and abuse, with victims as young as five. The documentary examines, through extensive archive footage, the evil within Jimmy and delves into how he managed to fool an entire nation for four decades.
Netflix’s true crime category came under fire in 2022 over the dramatization of Jeffrey Dahmer’s serial killer reign. “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” starred Evan Peters as the titular murderer; Peters went on to win the Golden Globe Award for his role while Dahmer victims’ families slammed the show for having inaccurate and insensitive portrayals. “Monster” creator Ryan Murphy responded to the backlash, stating, “Something that we talked a lot in the making of it is we weren’t so much interested in Jeffrey Dahmer, the person, but what made him the monster that he became. It’s really about white privilege. It’s about systemic racism. It’s about homophobia.”
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