Last 18th of October during his Saturday night show in Radio 2 comedian Russell Brand offended actor Andrew Sachs by telephone.
Brand and his guest Jonathan Ross left some obscene comments in Sachs’ answer machine about his grand-daughter, Georgina Baillie. Both of the comedians apologised later on the same day. But the damage was already done. The case has been even raised in the House of Commons where it has been said this kind of behaviour is “base and vulgar”. Gordon Brown has said today the incident is “inappropriate and unacceptable”.
The show had been recorded two days before. According to the Corporation’s editorial guidelines and the UK broadcasting code the producer of this show should have flagged up the potentially offensive content, including the strong language and the sexual content.
Should Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross be forgiven just because they have apologised? How thin is the line that separates comedy from offense?
It seems that this kind of behaviour has been rejected by almost everyone in the UK, from the show audience to the Prime Minister, as more than 10,000 complaints have been raised since “the incident” occurred. However it also seems that most of this people are happy by hearing a simple apology.
Is it a belch less disgusting when the person who does it says “pardon me”? Inevitabily the show must and will go on.