Driven by data; ridden with liberty.
Jeremy Clarkson’s contract for the popular Top Gear programme will not be renewed. According to the BBC’s director general, this decision was reached after Mr Clarkson made an “unprovoked physical attack” on a producer.
The bust-up occurred after a day of filming: Mr Clarkson struck the producer Oisin Tymon, swelling and bleeding his lip, requiring hospital attention. Mr Tymon “offered no retialiation”. This assault was coupled with verbal abuse and threats of dismissal against Mr Tymon, that were so loud these words could be heard in the hotel dining room. The fracas only ceased after an intervention by a witness. The fact that this commotion occurred is not disputed by Mr Clarkson or any witness.
Over a million people signed the ‘Bring Back Clarkson’ petition, calling for the reinstatement of Mr Clarkson, which was delivered to the BBC offices by the Top Gear character The Stig riding a tank.
To his credit, Mr Clarkson sought to apologise to Mr Tymon multiple times, and reported the incident to the BBC management. In addition, North Yorkshire Police are investigating Mr Clarkson’s violent actions.
After a man punched a colleague in the face, it is eminently reasonable that the employer no longer wishes the perpetrator to be in their service. The phenomenal popularity of the Top Gear programme, the personal politics of Mr Clarkson, the supposed machinations of the “liberal elite”, the alleged socio-political culture of the BBC, and the funding of the BBC form observations which are — even if true — irrelevant to the case.
A man assaulted his co-worker, and will cease to have a contract with his employer. This process happened according to the employer’s institutional guidelines, and within the laws of the land. It should not require woven elaboration that violent behaviour is unacceptable between colleagues. Don’t bring back Clarkson.