Unless you have been in a coma for the past few weeks, you will undoubtedly have heard about the demise of one of Britain’s biggest celebrities with his adoring fans in uproar. Yes, that’s right: Zayn Malik has left One Direction.
In other news, Jeremy Clarkson has been dismissed from his role as Top Gear presenter following the so-called ‘fracas’ (read punch-up) with the show’s producer.
Let’s not beat around the bush here Clarkson has acted in the words of James May ‘like an absolute k**b’. Could the BBC have really afforded not to sack a person who hospitalised a colleague, and to continue paying him tax-payers money? Yes, he brings in millions of viewers and billions of pounds to the corporation but how shallow a world would we live in if everything revolved around money rather than ethics?
What message would it send out if he would have been allowed to carry on? That there is one rule for celebrities, and another rule for everyone else? In what other walk of life would verbally and physically abusing a colleague not end up in the individual getting the sack? People already see celebrities as being untouchable and out of touch with real life; by not sacking Clarkson, this view would have just been reinforced.
Furthermore, if Clarkson hadn’t been sacked what would that say to Oisin Tymon, the producer at the end of Clarkson’s outburst? That his welfare doesn’t matter?
The surprising thing is not that he was sacked but that it took the BBC two weeks to come to this decision. Surely, as soon as it was revealed that he had punched a colleague there should be no grounds on which to keep him.
Before somebody says that it was a moment of weakness, he made a mistake, and that he deserves a second chance; how many second chances can one person have? This is not the first time that the presenter has found himself in a spot of bother; in fact he was said to have been on his final warning before this incident. In 2014 alone Clarkson was reported to have caused offence three times; in May he was forced to apologise after mumbling the ‘N-word’ as he sang the nursery rhyme ‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe’ on an episode of Top Gear, then in July he referred to an Asian person as a ‘slope’, and finally in October he caused offence by driving through Argentina with a number plate which referenced the Falklands war. Not to mention the countless incidents prior to 2014, including referring to Gordon Brown as a ‘one-eyed Scottish idiot’ and joking about how lorry drivers ‘murder prostitutes’.
Don’t get me wrong, I can see the appeal that Clarkson has to some people with his ‘I don’t care what people are going to say’ attitude and I commend him for this in the ‘political correctness gone mad’ world that we live in, but he has strayed over the line on too many occasions. Thus, there is no doubt in my mind that he should have been sacked.