Friday, 21 November 2008

BBC backs off

We now have the result of the investigation into the conduct of Ross and Brand. Jonathan Ross will not be punished any further for making lewd calls on a radio show, the BBC Trust has ruled. Instead, they have come to the conclusion that the behind-the-screen staff did not properly check the recorded programme before it was transmitted with the offensive material.
I cannot accept this. Both men are professional broadcasters and are not some Johnny Come Lately amateurs. They knew full well that what they were doing was beyond acceptable limits. Brand resigned immediately things blew apart. Ross took his 3 month suspension without a word of dissent or quibble. The senior staff resigned. So, facing a serious case for breach of  contract if they fired Ross - which would have cost them considerable damages at a time when the public are edgy about how license money is used - they blamed the producers who had resigned and would have problems with any legal dispute.
Ross came under additional criticism. The trust said bad language in an episode of Ross's pre-recorded BBC1 chat show, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, in which the presenter told Hollywood actor Gwyneth Paltrow he "would fuck her" was "gratuitous and unnecessarily offensive".
It stinks.

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