It was with heavy heart that I read of Rolf Harris’ being convicted of 12 counts of indecently assaulting four young girls and the reality of the Australian performer turning out to be yet another sexual predator hidden behind a gentle facade. Unlike the man who started Operation Yewtree off, Jimmy Savile, Harris did not look like the sort who would grope young girls, the entertainer looked as though he could be anyone’s favorite uncle and incapable of hurting a fly.
Sadly, this was not the case. The 84 year-old entertainer hurt at least four young ladies who grew up with a pain hidden deep inside. Wounds that changed their lives and the way that they interacted with those around them and how they saw themselves. At least now Harris has been taken to task for his crimes and there are generations of fans who have, no doubt, been shaken to the core by the truth of the sexual misconduct allegations.
The singer, artist, musician and television personality, perfected the ruse of the kindly and gentle performer who, like Saville, did much for children and charities. In Norwich at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, a piece of artwork donated by Harris to the establishment has been taken down from public display. Just one example of his artistic pieces that are being erased from the public’s disgusted eyes.
In 2012 Rolf Harris received a BAFTA fellowship, which has now been stripped from the performer. After admitting that he had “betrayed everyone,” Harris’s facade as the gentle harmless chap who did much for charity slipped to reveal another sexual predator.
This horrific and sick legacy, brought to the public’s attention by allegations made against children’s charity personality Jimmy Savile after his death, continues to spread throughout the United Kingdom’s show business community. Operation Yewtree has reached out and touched quite a number of entertainers in the country, with very few walking away unscathed.
Coronation Street regular Michael Le Vell was arrested under the auspices of “Yewtree” and later proven to be innocent of all charges. However, the very fact that accusations were made will place a shadow on his name for quite some time.
While it could be seen as a sort of hysteria, the truth is that something rotten is just under the surface of the British entertainment business and in at least two instances, it has been brought out into the open. However, it should be pointed out that this particular career makes it easy for predator’s to operate with such “impunity.”
The reason that these sexual predators can operate so freely is simple. The general populace, which makes up the entertainer’s fanbase, equate talent with “nice.” The belief being that surely someone who can make us so happy or help us to laugh, or be able to forget our day-to-day troubles cannot be a bad person.
Unfortunately this ability to please a good portion of the “masses” combined with the art of hiding their true personality behind a manufactured one allows these show business professionals to hunt almost unimpeded. At least until a Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter or Rolf Harris is caught.
For those who idolised the talents of Australian performer Rolf Harris and believed his gentle and seemingly harmless exterior, the news that the man was a sexual predator who used his facade to hunt the innocent, makes one’s stomach slip alarmingly to the side. The only question left now is just how far this rot extends in the business of entertainment and how long it will take to cut it out. As to the victim’s themselves? May they now find release after their contact with monsters.
By Michael Smith