Thursday, January 18, 2007

Legally Bald(Faced): Fun with the, Er, Penal Code

Also from Tom Colicchio's Bravo blog:
Bravo's Legal department advised us of the Top Chef rules, which stated that harming or threatening to harm other contestants was potential grounds for disqualification. According to these guidelines, it was clear that Cliff needed to go. I was sent to the Chef's loft to deliver the news that he was no longer welcome on the show.
Hmmm, let's see. So they were worried about a contractual violation, a breach of the duties in the contracts contestants sign to be on the reality shows and that provide "potential grounds for disqualification" (emphasis added). But no one seems to have thought about something other than civil law.

To wit, California Penal Code sections 240 ("An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another."), 241(a) ("An assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment."), 242 ("A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another."), and 243(a) ("A battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment."). In addition, California recognizes the crime of conspiracy to commit assault or battery (Penal Code section 182(a)(1)).

As it was, the video footage looked like an outtake from Oz, so perhaps it wouldn't have been such a stretch. Still, one would think that Cliff Crooks wouldn't like to honor the family name in this particular way (and, indeed, he has of late been making the rounds on the Isaiah Washington Apology Circuit).

11 comments:

Java Junkie said...

From one law dog to another, thank you, Charlus. Funny, my spouse said the same thing: "What is this, OZ?"

george said...

although i generally love your blog, i'm not sure that you do your generally thoughtful writing credit by continuing to equate cliff and isiah. i'm deeply dissapointed and frustrated by both, but there's something in the comparison that doesn't quite sit well. i do get the general reasons you've made the comparison, so I'm not being deliberately dense. And admittedly, it may actually be other commentator's responses more than your own offhand comparison. But if it's something you care to expand on i'd love to hear your thoughts. thanks for your continuing bits in the blogosphere.

hughman said...

"penal code". heh heh heh.

lessee-

cliff - macho, anger supressed black man who takes out his emotional outbursts on meeker, avaiable targets in a violent confrontational way which results in a public maelstrom of controversy.

issiah - um, um... ditto.

works for me.

Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Keller and O'Reily are hot!

Anonymous said...

poor marcel. all of them should have been disqualified.

Anonymous said...

but it gets worse. slow-mo the entire incident, and you'll find that Elia still has a full head of hair during the shave-Marcel incident.

so, the 'prank' was first. the other head-shaving -- an attempt to save face?

Anonymous said...

oh i know. it's all disappointing. i can't believe elia would participate in such childish behavior. i already lost respect for sam, ilan, and cliff so that wasn't a surprise. i would love to hear marcel's thoughts about how everything went down since the end of filming.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I hadn't noticed but you are right Elia did have full set of hair while they were pulling the stunt. I think you are right they tried to cover their asses by shaving their heads, thinking that maybe it would be ok.

cj said...

even if elia did have a full set of hair during the hazing, it doesn't prove anything.

she had no motive to shave it after (ie- to cover up her disloyalty), she was safe anyhow. i think she was just drunk.

however, shaving her head will make her look more immature, something the judges will think about when giving a 23 yr old her own restaurant. also, her ears look huge, now.

marcel looks like Eddie Munster

Anonymous said...

since the first episode, i really liked marcel. now i find him even more attractive. i like his eddie monster hair.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO is inconsistent in their enforcement of the "rules".

According to BRAVO's contract, violence or threats of violence are grounds for dismissal -- BUT -- when FRANK threatened violence against Marcel he was NOT reprimanded, let alone dismissed.

If BRAVO had enforced its rule and did reprimand or dismiss Frank, then maybe the other Chefs would have realized the show was serious about enforcing the rules, and maybe they would have thought twice about physically attacking Marcel.

BRAVO failed to follow through in Frank's case because exploiting Marcel makes for good TV -- and it comes back to haunt them when the other Chefs think the producers don't intend to actually enforce that rule.

It's likely none of this would have happened if BRAVO handled things correctly when Frank broke the rule.

They could have stopped this bullying before it erupted into violence.