And now for a bit of a diversion for the coming weekend. Actually, I saw this the other day in Entertainment news and thought it might be insightful to discuss:

Jeremy Clarkson, the host of the British TV show "Top Gear" was suspended for allegedly hitting a producer for not providing catering after a day of filming. The BBC has cancelled the rest of the season. Although I'm a huge fan of the show (and Clarkson) and my six year old broke into tears when he heard that there would be no more Top Gear for the year, I maintain that IF he had hit someone, then the BBC would have no choice but to fire him. My wife thinks otherwise. Why? Some of the BBC executives don't like him (it's personal) and he's a huge brand (money). Top Gear is shown in over 200 countries and has spawned spin-off versions in Russia, Australia, Germany, and the US. It brings in almost 60 million pounds/year to the BBC. And there's the problem. Clarkson sold the rights to the BBC in 2012 for a hefty multi-million pound profit, and still maintains some merchandising rights to the brand. And with the cancellation of the rest of the season, the BBC now owes millions in fines to broadcasters in 200+ countries that signed a contract and paid up for a full season. 

So, what would you do? It seems like the BBC is stuck between a rock and a hard place. I personally think that he should be let go. There should be a zero tolerance policy for violence in the workplace. Period. And from what I've read, that's the BBC policy. But, if they stick with their guns, they will probably lose their biggest brand, pay millions in fines, and lose their cash cow. It's sad to think that there are companies would probably want to make it go away quietly so they don't lose out on the profit, but that seems like it would set a dangerous precedent. But if you sack him, what about the financial loss your company takes? What about the individual contributors who will inevitably lose their jobs through no fault of there own? Is there a point where someone is actually so valuable that they could (not to mean they should) get away with almost anything?

Putting yourself in the BBC chief's shoes, what would YOU do?

nwillis's picture

I was going to say , give the man the sack. he can always get a job on channel 4 doing the same thing.

But then i have seen some of his programs and they are exceptionally good and entertaining and full of character.

Alternatively, give him a studio in the middle of nowhere, with a hand picked crew and pay the man by results. Then at least no BBC staff could be hurt in the process ... sorted

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

Yes, I agree the BBC is in tough spot if all you think about is money. Clarkson brings in millions of dollars a year to the company (and these revenue streams are particularly important to publicly funded broadcasters who have strict rules around where they can make money). He can very easily walk across the street and do the same thing for a competitor.

IMHO, Quite frankly, those of you don't want to support this kind of behaviour need to stop watching the show until he leaves. Write the BBC and tell them so. It is the only thing that'll take away all of this man's power.

He hit someone. He has a bad track record of problems. Apparently he was given his last warning last time. He needs to be fired.

Again, IMHO, we need to remember that the BBC is publicly funded. I'm sure somewhere in its charter it says it exists to serve the public good - it does not exist to make a profit. As a taxpayer funded entity, it should set top standards for behaviour. They say they make quality TV because they don't need to worry about profit. They should say the same about all making quality decisions.

And some of you know the BBC has recently been accused of covering up much worse criminal behaviour over the past few decades. Another little step towards proving that they have reformed their culture wouldn't hurt them.