In an interview with UK’s The Telegraph, Bezos confirmed the fact that the hiring of Clarkson and his two former BBC co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond – also coming together with Top Gear producer Andy Wilman – was extremely expensive, pointing out towards them driving a hard bargain.
Earlier this year, BBC chose not to renew Clarkson’s contract for the show despite it being one of its top productions. One of the main reasons was Clarkson alleged erratic and unstable behavior, which reportedly included punching a producer, but behind the scenes rumors point towards the fact that the company was not willing to accept his exorbitant financial demands for a new contract.
Following this, May, Hammond and Wilman also declined to renew their contracts in solidarity with Clarkson, which started out bidding wars between multiple companies to bring them in. In the end, even though rumors suggested Netflix to be in the pole position the land the quartet, it was eventually Amazon who signed them – and also announced that a follow-up to Top Gear presented by the Clarkson, May and Hammond would be released in the near future on Amazon’s Instant Video platform.
As the BBC is organizing castings to replace them while retaining the brand name, the new show has not received a name yet, nor details about its format. Yet whatever Amazon is due to offer its customers, it apparently costs them a fortune – even though Bezos eschewed saying exact numbers.
Of course, the e-commerce giant is not going to waste this – in its tradition, it will probably put it to good use and drain every potential out of it, but how it is exactly going to do it remains a secret. Bezos did confirm however that their involvement will not be limited to “just a show”, and that it will probably expand in other areas.
Amazon has been recently hit by a New York Times report which gives harrowing details about its workplace culture, detailing how employees are encouraged to snitch on one another and how the company fires people annually just as a kind of “purposeful Darwinism”. Amazon’s leadership has criticized the report and offered examples of former director and employees which contradict the report, while also emphasizing the fact that they promote competition rather Darwinism.
Image Source: Daily Mail