Blurred Lines

Wed, 08 Apr 2015
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No, I’m not talking about the controversial ditty by Robin Thicke but rather how the lines are often blurred when it comes to Top Creative Talent and their behaviour; more poignantly why it seems that we often accept that these individuals behave differently.

Take the recent Jeremy Clarkson ‘fracas’. Clearly Top Talent for the BBC and some would say he used up his 9 lives a long time ago but even with the enormous revenue that arguably he brought in for the BBC, this was a step too far even for him which he paid for with the ultimate sacrifice. What was interesting was how this divided people’s opinion; some vehemently believed he should have kept his job regardless of the fact he physically assaulted a fellow employee, while for others it was simple: he had to go.

Also hitting the headlines last month was the case of the High Court Judges who were dismissed for allegedly looking at pornography on court computers. This was very clearly deemed as wholly unacceptable but has not provoked the same kind of reaction from joe public perhaps because of the position of authority they hold?

Instances of unacceptable behaviour are increasingly becoming more of an issue and is something that here in the creative industry and particularly from a HR perspective really pushes our moral compass. We often find ourselves being told “that’s just how creative people are” and “but they are responsible for over a quarter of our revenue” but are they really justifiable reasons for turning a blind eye?

Ultimately we should be viewing a breach of an organisation’s code of conduct or any unacceptable behaviour as potential gross misconduct that may result in dismissal. For every “livewire” constantly blurring the lines of acceptability, there are a plethora of many more amazing people out there who don’t. Food for thought next time you find yourself having this kind of conversation with the business.


Tania Allen, HR Consultant