I spotted this terrible story today CEO Caught on Video Kicking Puppy. The video is disturbing and seems clear cut. You really feel for the poor dog. But let’s not jump to conclusions until all the facts are in and we hear from all sides.
The Vancouver Globe first story describes “surveillance video shot in an elevator of the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver shows an unidentified man kicking a dog several times.”
As more details were revealed, we learned the kicker was Des Hague, the CEO of Centerplate, a multibillion-dollar sports-catering company that provides concessions for major arenas like the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
In the company’s first response Hague apologized.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, this incident is completely and utterly out of character and I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed,” he said in a statement. “Under the circumstances of the evening in question, a minor frustration with a friend’s pet caused me to lose control of my emotional response. Unfortunately, I acted inappropriately, and I am deeply sorry for that and am very grateful that no harm was caused to the animal. I have reached out to the SPCA and have personally apologized to the dog’s owner. At this time, I would like to extend my apology to my family, company and clients, as I understand that this has also reflected negatively on them.”
Then, when the San Diego paper looked into it further they found that Hague lied in his statement. The B.C. SPCA determined the dog, Sade, was his, not a family friend’s pet. (I suppose that makes personally apologizing to himself easier.)
Eventually, after multiple stories and worldwide outrage, the board acted. Des Hague to donate $100,000 and serve 1,000 hours of community service (According to Fortune, Centerplate is a privately held $6 billion business with 30,000 employees and more than 350 clients and is challenging industry leader Aramark.)
People in Vancouver, San Diego and other cities have called for their venues to drop their relationship with Centerplate. Several articles mentioned people planning to not purchase food and drink at the venues. Other stories mentioned how canceling the Centerplate contract would end up hurting the local employees and the revenues the cities get from the concessions.
In a statement the San Diego Chargers said, ”It’s unfortunate that his actions have tainted the local Centerplate employees who devotedly serve our fans.”
For me that statement is key. His actions tainted the Centerplate brand. People want him to pay, not some minimum wage worker pouring beers that cost more than their hourly wage.
So a few days later, it looks like the situation is getting addressed, changes are being made. Further consequences, including possible jail time, for Hague are still to come.
This story is a good example of the power of video, the established mainstream media being amplified by social media and a demonstration of the economic consequences of bad behavior by a key member of a corporation. Also, not to be missed is our love and support of pets. I want activists to learn from this story and see how this can apply to other situations.
How the RW Drives a Narrative Flip or “What about the poor CEO? He’s the real victim here.”
I see too many cases of rich and powerful who change the narrative, become the victims and turn the story around. Who helps them? Why do they do it? How do they do it? And finally, can we thwart them in their support of morally repugnant behaviors?
One of the more powerful narrative players to have on your side is the right wing media. You need the right credentials and viewpoints, but if they back you, you can steal millions from people, point guns at federal officials and even shoot and kill someone and get lauded for it. Paul Rosenburg points out in Salon, that media supporting the powerful in not new but the levels they do it at are now extreme. To get support from RW media, you need to fall under one of these categories,
- If Obama is for it we are against it.
- This action will piss off the liberals
- Our base will like this (aka red meat)
- This story will hurt Democrats and/or Hillary Clinton at election time
- This action supports a conservative ideal like small government
- You are a prominent conservative politician
What if Hague fell into one of these categories? What would that look like? Read the rest of this entry →