Hooter’s solution is PR

Good God. Did anybody watch Hooters CEO Coby Brooks humiliate himself on TV last night? And do we really buy this crap? Hooters

Undercover Boss is a Olympics counter-programming hit, but it serves up plastic souls on paper plates and I hope the viewing public can see through it.

Brooks thought a sexually abusive manager’s problems were “inappropriate.” He was gently counseled, and allegedly turned himself around at the end of the show.

Bull. The dealings with that manager showed how deeply corrupt and hypocritical the entire business model is. That idiot manager should have been fired on the spot – it would have happened that way at any responsible company.

The incident should have precipitated a company-wide training program, and an iron-booted crackdown on anything that even sniffed of this kind of exploitation. But nope, it was framed as a verbal reprimand to one bad actor. God almighty.

But Hooters is all about exploitation, and Brooks and the show’s producers just conspired not to see it that way. When confronted by customers who think Hooter’s is creepy, it was interesting to watch the absolute disconnect between “the brand” and the concerns expressed by average people about the entire business model.

So instead of re-thinking a brand that basically exists to take advantage of a woman’s economic vulnerability and a man’s stupidity, Brooks brought two unqualified bimbos into management to have them help launch a PR campaign about how great everything is for his “girls.”

The post-game interview with the manager proved he had learned nothing and in turn, what a sham the entire process was.

When it comes to working long hours for low wages in the case of one of his store managers, she got sent on vacation at company expense. Everybody else can pound sand, but it made for good television.

Another jerk manager was a former Marine. Brooks contributed $50k to a charity serving veterans. That’s great, but what in hell it had to do with any of the issues he uncovered, but didn’t recognize for what they are, in his business is beyond me.

So in the end, Undercover Boss is a giant press release – without a shred of critical thinking on the part of the producers. Yeah, I know it’s television – but it’s also a load of crap that the corporations that probably pay to be featured are happy to feed you.

CEO awakenings are funny – going on that week long retreat seeing the light and getting saved is a powerful experience – but it’s amazing how fast the converted slip back into their old ways. Especially if they never got to the point where they understood why they needed to be saved in the first place.

The flesh is weak, and so is Undercover Boss.