Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Carol Thatcher recently added her own name to the list of celebrities who put their feet in their mouths: remarking that a well-known tennis player was a 'golliwog'. But does this justify her being sacked?

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

Carol Thatcher should be made an example of

Jeremy Clarkson constantly makes comments that are offensive; Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand were involved in the scandal recently about Andrew Sach’s granddaughter and now Carol Thatcher referred to black tennis player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as a ‘golliwog’. It is becoming quite a trend now – why can’t these public figures just keep their offensive comments to themselves? Surely these people know they have positions of responsibility and every word they say is scrutinised. It was only a matter of time before someone got fired and quite rightly too.

What makes Carol Thatcher’s comment more offensive than everybody else’s? So blameworthy that she deserved to be fired? Everyone else was merely suspended or given a slap on the wrist but no one was sacked. What people find offensive depends on the individual, not what the bosses at BBC deem offensive.

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

The comment was made in public

Carol Thatcher made her offensive comments whilst in the Green Room at the BBC, surrounded by twelve people, including comedienne Jo Brand and One Show presenter Adrian Chiles. Ms Hunt, who was responsible for launching The One Show said: “It was not a private conversation. What Carol decides to say in the privacy of her own home or in a private conversation with friends is one thing. In her capacity as a roving reporter for The One Show is a different thing. On this occasion her using this phrase, it being overheard and having caused offence to a number of people was totally inappropriate”. (1) Whilst freedom of speech is undisputed, Mrs Thatcher has to remember that in her position of responsibility, she cannot be overheard to make remarks which might offend the very people she reports too.
(1) http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/uk/BBC-boss---begins.4953852.jp

Although perhaps it is naïve, Carol thought that because she was off-camera and behind the studio, that the Green Room was not effectively a workplace and felt that her conversation was private and not to be overheard.

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

Carol did make an extremely offensive remark

What persons in this capacity have to understand is that whilst they themselves might not find some comments offensive, other people will. In Carol’s capacity as a ‘roving reporter’ she has to be understanding and sensitive as to the nature of her words in public and in private. Although this is unfortunate, when reporting to the public at large, an individual has to think about everything they say in case it does offend someone. Carol cannot deny that the term ‘golliwog’ has, throughout the years, caused much offence to the black community and it is not like she can deny any knowledge of this.

Carol did not mean to offend anyone and submitted that her comment was said in jest. The BBC have pounced on the fact that ‘she did not apologise’. Why should she apologise when she truly believes that she has said nothing wrong? If Carol apologises, it appears as though she has said something intentionally and has been told to take it back before she loses her job. Has anyone actually considered that Carol did not intentionally mean to cause anyone offence and so does not have to apologise for a mistake? A woman of Carol’s intelligence clearly did not realise she would cause offence when she made this comment: otherwise she would have said it more discreetly, if not at all.

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

Everyone makes mistakes

As has been previously reiterated, although it may not be fair to expect everyone to watch what they say constantly, Carol impliedly accepted that her every word would be scrutinised when she accepts such job offers, such as being a roving reporter for the BBC.

Oh big surprise, another celebrity said something they shouldn’t. Just because they are celebrities or in a capacity where their words are reported, does not mean they are sub-human and can re-think everything they are going to say. It is unconscionable to expect everyone to reasses their speech. Carol Thatcher is just the same as the next opinionated lady and makes mistakes lik everybody else.

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

The sacking only came after she refused to apologise

This can easily be argued against by the previous argument: people make mistakes, the BBC have acknowledged this and are willing to offer everyone a second chance before resorting to firing.

I find this very peculiar. The BBC insists that they are zero tolerance and conduct a widely diverse team to report and present to a widely diverse audience. So when Carol made her remark, she was not instantly sacked. If the remark was so offensive to be worthy of being fired, surely she would have been fired immediately as soon as it was found out? But this is not the case: instead they give her a second chance to grovel to the public and colleagues for her mistake. The reason Jeremy Clarkson knows he can continuously get away with his comments is because afterwards her apologises to the public and can carry on with his job regardless. The BBC are also not likely to sack Mr Clarkson as he pulls in big ratings for BBC2. Jonathon Ross totted up an impressive 42,000 (1) complaints and as he apologised, he was only suspended for three months without pay. As Carol Thatcher is not as indispensible as Jeremy Clarkson or Jonathon Ross and refused to apologise, she was given her marching orders. (1) http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/uk/BBC-boss---begins.4953852.jp

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

The public were against the sacking

Just because one course of action is more popular with the public does not mean that this is the correct choice. Also, these figures could be misleading because often people feel more inclined to complain about something they feel needs changing than they do to air support for something that they feel was done well.

Occasionally, the BBC sometimes do not even realise themselves how the public may be offended by comments made on their channel. It is only after a number of complaints do they begin to act. In Carol Thatcher’s case, more complaints were made about her being fired and in support of her remaining as the One Shows’s roving reporter. The BBC has logged 2,245 complaints against the decision to sack Ms Thatcher, while it has received 60 calls and e-mails supporting its decision. (1)
(1) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/4522185/Golliwog-row-Carol-Thatcher-sacked-because-she-wouldnt-apologise.html

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

The press love a scandal

How do we know that Carol will not make her mistake again? If she feels her comment was unworthy of blame, then it is likely her thoughts will continue on this and the mistake will be repeated. Additionally, isn’t it the job of the other reporters and journalists to report the story to the nation to explain why Carol has been fired? They do not want to mock the BBC, but perhaps warn their own presenters of what happens if they make the same mistake.

Let’s face it: the press do love a scandal. Other channels cannot wait to wave a disapproving finger in the BBC’s direction everytime something goes wrong. What Carol’s mistake was her comment was made in a room with several other journalists who are itching to get on the phone or back to their desks to be the first ones to dish up such a juicy story. The whole scenario has been blown out of proportion: similarly to Jonathon Ross’s and Russell Brand’s situation, which continued and escalated for a period of time longer than necessary. Carol needed to be taken too one side, punished for her mistake and told to go on with her job: it was unnecessary to be reported all over the news for a mistake she has made and will not make again.

Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?

Yes because... No because...

Her point was valid and not racist

Many people are offended at the idea of being likened to a Golliwog as they feel that this is reductive. It is reasonable to expect people to try and limit their offence to others and, therefore, upon finding out that people were upset by her remarks Thatcher should have apologised. She refused to do so, thus showing a complete disregard for the thoughts and feelings of others. This is not the image that the BBC would like to convey so it was reasonable to sack her.

Carol Thatcher merely said that someone looked like a Golliwogg, which is defined as "a rag doll-like, children's literary character created by Florence Kate Upton in the late 19th century" who had jovial, friendly and gallant charcteristics.
This is hardly a term of racist abuse.
It arguably might have been more controversial if she had said that the person in question WAS a Golliwogg, but Thatcher didn't.

Debates > Should Carol Thatcher have been sacked?