I’ve been watching my fair share of Christmas telly and it’s been entertaining stuff. One of the better programmes was the BBC2 Boxing Day drama, The Girl, which portrayed Hitchcock’s bullying of his leading lady, Tippi Hedrin.
Hitchcock, it appears, could be the boss from hell. With hindsight, it’s not that hard to believe. He was a genius at suspense, had a fascination with psychology, together with the fact that many films have a sexual undertone and gallows humour. But that’s not to say he would automatically have created a tense psychological drama off stage. So why did he start?
A clue can be found in The Telegraph. The paper gave voice to Hitchcock’s friends and admirers who jumped to his defence. “Hitchcock was one of the best directors” said one and another said: “You had to take Hitchcock with a pinch of salt”.
It’s what I’ve been saying all along. People bully others often simply because they can. They’re given more leeway because they’re a genius at what they do, because they own the company or because they bring in money. And the brave individuals who stand up and say: ‘He doesn’t deserve that sort of leeway’ often pay for their honesty.
There are enough perks to being a famous director or running a company or earning pots of money. Tormenting the people who work with you or for you isn’t one of them.