"Hard To Say I'm Sorry" - Chicago, 1982
This post is being written for my Brits-in-the-US readers, as I'm not sure when you might otherwise hear about this.
Comedians/broadcasters Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand have - just this morning - been suspended from broadcasting on the BBC pending investigation of an incident which happened last Saturday on Brand's BBC Radio 2 program. The two made highly offensive phone calls to Fawlty Tower's actor Andrew Sachs - who got their messages on his voicemail - involving Sachs' granddaughter. I won't go into detail here about what they said. If you're interested, you can read all about it on the BBC's website through one of the links I've given here.
I must admit that I like both these guys (Ross much more than Brand), although Russell Brand's humor can be way over the top at times. This was an incredibly insensitive, stupid thing for these two to have done. I'm not surprised by Brand's behavior. I'm really sorry that Ross participated, though. What was deemed as "edgy humor" was obviously anything but. And the BBC have received a torrent of complaints as a result.
As many of you know, Jonathan Ross is extremely popular (well, he was anyway...) and is one of the highest-paid entertainers in Britain. The BBC's decision to suspend him - and that includes his Friday night talk show also, by the way - wasn't taken lightly, I'm sure.
Looking at the timeline of this controversy, I see that this program was taped several days before airing. Surely some producer or editor at Radio 2 should have had the good sense to edit out this sequence before it went on air! You know, it's bad enough that Brand and Ross used such dreadful judgement with their "prank"; but it's possibly even worse that employees of the BBC allowed the program on the air at all.
And even the PM himself has torn himself away from the country's economic problems to make a statement about this situation.
There's much more to come on this subject, no doubt.