Ten brave souls that clashed with authority
ROWS, ROWS, rows, they can surface anytime, anywhere, and more often than not when least expected. The secret to surviving them, I suppose, is carefully choosing which explosion of tempers that you commit your energies to. By the time you have finished reading this sentence, there will have been thousands more faces slapped in all sorts of heated situations in offices, bars and homes scattered across the globe.
Because as long as people continue to crawl from their beds in the morning, there will be other people that they are going to irritate. It’s only natural and a trait of human nature that cannot be fixed; how people receive you is never entirely within the realms of your control. Chances are I’m even irritating you right now.
There are certain people who you would be advised not to peeve off more than others as you go about your daily business and one of them, obviously, is your boss. Or those that have the power, either directly or indirectly, to influence the progress of your career. Not all people abide by such a code however, which can sometimes result in admiring glances from the rest of us easily amused onlookers – those of us that for the most part, like to play by the rules.
From the Connecticut woman who was fired for allegedly criticising her boss on Facebook - a medium through which more and more people are pressing the self-destruct button on their careers - to the New York banker who says she was forced out of her job at Citibank because her male co-workers found her figure ‘ too distracting’; there are various ways through which you can upset the person who pads your pay packet.
In the past few weeks, Hollywood lothario Charlie Sheen has been back in the thick of things, sharing a ‘violent hatred of his bosses’ with a bemused American public. With the axe already swung on the remaining episodes of the Two and A Half Men show for this season, there is a chance that the production plug could now be pulled altogether.
While Sheen might have little regard for his steady flow of income, there are plenty of his colleagues who aren’t quite as flippant when it comes to a well-paying job, given the financially precarious times in which they live. This week, therefore, I present for you ten rebellious characters who dared to clash with those in authority, with contrasting results.
Galliano versus Christian Dior: Christian Dior announced last week that it was firing designer John Galliano after he allegedly praised Adolf Hitler in an online video. The fashion world was up-in-arms following accusations of a string of racist and anti-Semitic rants against patrons of a Paris cafe. I would be shocked too, if I felt there was any chance that the drowning-rat comb-over and short black tache-look was going to be reintroduced to the high streets.
Andy Gray versus Rupert Murdoch: Gray asked a female presenter to tuck a microphone into his trousers and a Sky colleague released a recording of the event on the Internet, contributing to the reasons for his sacking. It subsequently emerged that Gray was allegedly suing the News of the World (also owned by Sky boss Murdoch) for tapping into his mobile phone. Expect this one to grow more legs as the year rolls on.
Richard Bruton versus Enda Kenny: This time last year he was Kenny’s right-hand man but the confidence instilled in him by the approval of a sector of the Irish public went to his head, resulting in a failed coup against the soon-to-be Taoiseach. Bruton has been remarkably quiet of late which is more the pity given his articulation and sharp brain. We can only watch him sit and stew, as he covets the role of finance minister that could so easily have been his.
Roy Keane versus Mick McCarthy: A bumpy pitch, a squad of party animals and a grumpy Corkman who fumed ‘ down with this kind of thing’. Roy thought little of McCarthy’s managing skills and claimed he was being accused of feigning injury, so that he could skip international games. There was no winner in this row.
There would be certain people who you would be advised not to peeve off more than others
A country lost its captain and one of our finest ever players lost his last chance at lifting a World Cup - however little or large that chance may have been. We shall never know.
Sinead O’Connor versus the Catholic Church: Invited to perform as the musical act on Saturday Night Live in October 1992, Sinead held up a photo of Pope John Paul II at the end of the song and shouted ‘fight the real enemy’ before tearing up the photo of the pontiff, in an effort to draw attention to allegations of sexual abuse against children in the Catholic Church. Back then she was condemned by many; today her critics would be fewer. Jonathan Ross versus the BBC In what would prove to be an unwise career move, Ross appeared on The Russell Brand Show on BBC Radio 2 in October 2008. He was subsequently suspended for 12 weeks, without pay, by the BBC after a series of lewd answer phone messages were left for 79-yearold actor Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Fawlty Towers) regarding his granddaughter were broadcast. Brand resigned from the BBC, while Ross was suspended without pay. Ross eventually confirmed that he would leave the BBC in July 2010, having decided not to renegotiate his contract. Is he missed? Like the deserts miss the rain.
Macaulay Culkin versus his parents: The most famous case of its kind where a child actor divorces his parents and takes them to court to determine who should have control of his fortune, which he had acquired from a string of hit movies including the Home Alone series.
Gilbert O’Sullivan versus Gordon Mills: Waterford-born singer/songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan saw red when he discovered that his recording contract with MAM Records greatly favoured the label's owner, Gordon Mills. A lawsuit followed and in May 1982, the court found in his favour awarded him £7 million in damages.
It was a landmark settlement which swayed the balance of power towards artists, whereas up until then managers and record label owners had enjoyed the lion’s share of financial control.
Robbie Keane versus Harry Redknapp: In 2009, Tottenham boss Redknapp went public to say that he was cancelling his players’ Christmas party. Keane, his captain, organised a trip for a bunch of his teammates to travel to Dublin for a game of golf, followed by a few drinks, without Redknapp’s blessing.
The Tallaght man subsequently found himself out of the Tottenham team and has since been loaned out twice, to Glasgow Celtic and West Ham United.
Eamon Dunphy versus RTE: In 2002, Dunphy was hauled off air after a few minutes during his role as World Cup analyst. He later apologised and admitted having too many drinks the previous night and too little sleep.
There have been numerous controversial moments between the former footballer and the national broadcaster – his shock factor being key to his popularity with a sizeable number of viewers.