Insurance company Royal & Sun Alliance has sacked ten members of staff for distributing "lewd" Bart Simpson cartoons. The decision follows the announcement in December that 41 staff had been suspended over the emails. Between then and now, this figure has increased to 77. The company is clearly taking this very seriously.
It all seems a little over-the-top to us, especially as most companies have used the email situation (especially since the Claire Swire debacle) to simply make a point that staff have to be more careful in how they use email.
We've seen a range of "pornographic" Simpsons animated gifs, which, while they may be distasteful to some are hardly strong enough to justify sacking someone over. Especially if they have simply forwarded an email. Porn, especially child porn, is one matter, but smutty cartoons? Come on.
We were also interested to hear that the emails weren't constrained to Simpsons characters - apparently Kermit the Frog and Fozzy Bear have also made an adult appearance. We haven't seen these (but if employees at Royal &Su Alliance want to forward them :-) ) - but we can tell you that mutual masturbation between Bart and Lisa was one and Marje giving Ned Flanders a blow job was another. If you have seen them, you also can't help but admire the effort and attention to detail put into the pics.
Anyway, what most puzzles us is what exactly the 10 who were fired did above and beyond all the others. Was there a maximum number of forwards you were allowed before you were sacked? Or was it the attitude of staff when reprimanded? ("We take this matter very seriously Mr Smith. This sort of cartoon depravity is what is bringing this country down." "Oh, come on, for chrissakes, it's just a cartoon." "You're fired.") ®