Why me can't get dem work deh?
Talk about getting 'ignorant'.
If you've never heard of Jeremy Clarkson, then this might not be the column for you. Clarkson was one of the hosts of the immensely popular BBC motor show Top Gear. His contract wasn't renewed last week after a 'scuffle' with one of his producers. Why is this a big deal? Because Top Gear is quite easily one of the greatest shows, in terms of viewership, to grace British television.
Figures suggest the show has some 350 million views per week in 170 different countries. So you know it brings in the money! Clarkson's salary was also in the millions.
I started watching it around 2008 when I was learning to drive. I found it comedic, informative and just overall fun. But while Clarkson was, and still is, popular, his mouth often got him into trouble. And he was rapped on the knuckles a few times for it. Well, this time around it's rumoured that it was his fists that caused problems. Clarkson allegedly punched a producer after complaining about the food that was on the set at the time. And just like that, him haffi go somewhere else fi eat a food!
Two things bothered me about this case. The first is, as the first line of my soliloquy goes, some man don't appreciate things until it's too late. If you love a particular topic, and Clarkson obviously loves cars, and you're getting paid handsomely to talk about and drive them, what's the problem? He reminds me of Charlie Sheen, who was making US$2 million a season while he was on the show Two and A Half Men. So every time he went out and spoke a few lines, he pocketed the now-equivalent of J$230 million, or thereabouts. If there are 14 episodes in one season, well, you can do the rest of the mathematics. Money-o!
But the other thing was that in the aftermath, people were on social media criticising the hell out of the producer, not Clarkson. Albeit they may have been in the minority, the fact is, there were enough persons who were so incensed, they saw it fit to complain. And apparently without acknowledging their star had crossed the line. Even after the investigation, they're still cursing BBC for the decision. Obviously, something went down and when you're a serial offender, you have to toe the line.
You have to applaud BBC, though, for sticking to their principles. Top Gear brings in millions of dollars and Clarkson and the other hosts may simply take their act to another network. But nothing is sure in this life. Other potential bosses might decide this guy is not worth the trouble or, if he goes alone, he might get a smaller salary and even less leeway.
I figure he'll find something else (probably already has), but bottom line, you just don't throw away a good thing. Period!
Link me at firstname.lastname@example.org.