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.

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