Hands Up Who Saw This Tweet Coming

No surprise at all, is it? In Rupert’s world, if you are famous and popular enough to make oodles of money for people like him, then you should be allowed to punch people and everybody else should just shrug and move on.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, media

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15 replies

  1. No, but I should have.

  2. Well, Rupert is welcome to employ him. Possibly as a bouncer at the front door of Fortress Wapping, but that’s up to HR.

    • (After all, he does appear to be in need of a job at this point).

    • Have to say its hilarious how many people seem to assume that Clarkson/Hammond/May can just take Top Gear with them to another broadcaster. They are obviously unaware of the fearsome beasts known as entertainment lawyers and the non-competition clauses they tie showbiz stars down to for just these contingencies. For a start, BBC owns the rights to the name Top Gear and The Stig, and would also have some sort of IP over the graphics and theme music branding, so that’s not going anywhere. Apart from that, if the three of them are not contractually bound to not do any other car-review show for at least five years after leaving Top Gear then I’ll eat my favourite hat. So they’ll have to come up with something else to tie their curmudgeonly shenanigans to, which I’m sure they will do, but without the roar of the vroom-vrooms, how will the fans take to that?

      • Apart from that, if the three of them are not contractually bound to not do any other car-review show for at least five years after leaving Top Gear then I’ll eat my favourite hat.

        Idle lay-person musing: I take your general point, but I dunno about this one: they’d each have their own very excellent entertainment lawyers and would have entered their last renewal in a position of strength. In the exceptionally unlikely event that I ever become a massively famous car reviewer, I’d be working hard to get my no-compete clause cut way down. (In the software industry, my understanding is that they seldom stand up to the test in court anyway, because they are so obviously severely detrimental to workers’ careers in addition to being anti-competitive.)

        On Murdoch’s tweet: it’s rather tempting to do a “Murdoch or Dawkins?” site with the two men’s tweets, and see how accurately readers could assign to the correct tweeter.

      • I accept that I could well be wrong, but showbiz is notorious for successfully playing off the insecurities of the “talent”, especially when their remuneration is so preposterously stratospheric – the courts not unreasonably tend to agree that several millions in the bank is reasonable compensation. With Clarkson in particular, he actually owned a large stake in the Top Gear production company until a few years ago, and sold it back to the BBC for a stonking fee and several years of profit-sharing. I bet that particular commercial arrangement came with a no-compete clause with respect to any sort of taking part in car shows for a considerable interval, and I can’t see May and Hammond trying to do a car show without him.

      • P.S. also, when their job description is “TV-presenter”/”journalist”, the no-compete clauses around restricting particular subjects of coverage might well be viewed as not sufficiently restrictive of their earning capacity.

      • I didn’t know about the sell-back of the brand, that does sound like a situation where he may well have signed some normally overly onerous no-competes (and no-disparagements for that matter).

      • I know someone who ran an entertainer management agency who sold it and had a non-compete cause within the state of NSW for 5 years following the sale. She started up a business in training young people to become entertainers (so still utilising her showbiz expertise) with no challenges from the buyers of her previous business, and everyone was happy. I can see that many other industries don’t have so many distinct niches that can be shifted to without breaching no-compete clauses, and thus such clauses can quite rightly be seen as overly onerous in other industries, but those niches are many and varied in the world of light entertainment. For example, a no-compete clause regarding Clarkson presenting any other show based around cars would not stop him from hosting a comedy panel show in his boorish oaf persona or presenting a documentary series about bridges or rockets in his “let’s pretend I’m a real engineer” persona.

        A caveat to my earlier expressed belief that Hammond and May wouldn’t be successful doing a *new* car show without Clarkson: I can see them quite probably making a go of continuing Top Gear with a new third wheel, given all that brand power behind them, particularly if Clarkson asks the fans to support them continuing on (and if the profit-sharing part of that sale deal is still in force, he’d be a fool not to). Given that both of them are also presenters of other BBC shows I’ll be very interested to see which way they end up jumping on this.

  3. A number of things popped into my head when I saw the headline, but I must confess that this was not one of them.

  4. The thing with Rupert is: I am not surprised he thinks that way, but I can’t believe he thinks it’s a good idea to tell everybody.

    There have been other conservatives expressing their support for Clarkson. Louise Mensch thinks punching your subordinates is normal manly behaviour that shouldn’t be restricted.
    It’s appalling that other bosses share Clarkson’s view that it is OK for the boss to punch a person working for him.

  5. He’s not talking to you, he’s talking to his editors. He’s found a way to issue commands to the australian press without appearing to be in communication with them. I’ll be googling “Clarkson” “Bolt” on Monday.

  6. Also I suspect that Rupert has no qualms about hiring Clarkson because he puts himself firmly in the ‘unlikely to ever get punched’ category. Who cares if some lackey gets beaten up. He probably deserved it.

    I also suspect that Rupert doesn’t tslk to his HR department much…

  7. Latest developments: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-29/bbc-chief-threatened-decision-to-axe-top-gears-jeremy-clarkson/6356704 – Some charming friend of humanity sent death threats to the head of the BBC about this. Massive over-reaction or what? (Or maybe they’re associated with a particular twitter hashtag, and think sending death threats is a moderate and reasonable reaction for the average citizen to follow when someone threatens one of their popular culture icons… )


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