This week’s “showbiz” news centred around the fact that David Walliams was no longer going to judge the popular TV programme – Britain’s Got Talent. The headlines centred around the fact that he had been removed after the media reported on some of the things that he’d been saying behind the scenes.
So many questions here – I mean firstly, he might have already opted to leave the programme anyway, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know if that accusation of him having been pushed out is true or not.
Why did somebody “leak” that dirt at the point that they did? Seemingly they’d had that information for quite a while, so things like that always feel a bit too convenient to me.
Heigh ho – regardless of what the truth is, it’s the what happened next that I’d like to focus on. As when the allegations were made, suddenly my timelines were full of people telling their stories of his bad behaviour. Now I’m not talking about the “pretend” people that suddenly chime in, but people not hiding behind anonymity giving some quite startling accounts.
This begs the question that I’ve asked countless times before – why are unkind people permitted to get away with such poor behaviour for so long? Where’s the accountability for the people that have kept them employed? Plus (a new question for me), quite how big a name do you have to be in order that a national paper expose needs to bring you down?
Walliams was employed by people – different to those people that are abusive in positions of authority, and therefore to all intents and purposes become a law unto themselves. He was re-contracted time and time again, even though it was known that lots of his behaviour was unacceptable.
Whilst I’d like to think that we all have our own moral compass, I can also understand to an extent, why somebody’s poor behaviour escalates when they’re not being called out on it. The responsibility still lies with the perpetrator to be considerate and thoughtful, but why would they when their behaviour isn’t only being tolerated, it’s being given more and more opportunity via renewed contracts.
There is very little difference here to the abusers and bullies in our industry who keep getting hired time and time again, all in the name of creative genius, or box office appeal.
If we want our industry to be kinder, we need to respond sooner to the people that are acting out.