BrewDog’s Watt lodging official complaint about BBC documentary

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Reply issued: BrewDog co-founder James Watt has responded to the BBC documentary that aired last month (January)
Reply issued: BrewDog co-founder James Watt has responded to the BBC documentary that aired last month (January)

Related tags: Brewdog, James watt, Beer, Multi-site pub operators

Scottish brewer and operator BrewDog co-founder James Watt is set to launch an official complaint with the BBC and regulator Ofcom for “dozens of inaccuracies and false claims” aired in a documentary about the business.

BBC Scotland​’s Disclosure ​programme – The Truth About BrewDoginvestigated claims​ from more than 15 former members of staff who spoke out against Watt, with some alleging he made female bartenders feel “uncomfortable”.

Some were advised by colleagues on how to avoid unwelcome attention from the BrewDog co-founder, according to the investigation.

Malicious caricature

In a post on LinkedIn​, Watt said he had spent time reflecting on the programme and added: “We knew full well the documentary was never going to be anything other than the ‘malicious hatchet job’ our legal counsel described it as.

“Watching it alone, in my office was savage. This was simply not the BrewDog I know and love. It was a malicious caricature, based largely on untruths. I utterly refute the characterisation of me as well.

“The most direct claim against me was that I stared at someone. But it was laced with so much innuendo and smear that they got their desired effect and now, thousands of people, all over social media, were calling me some of the worst thing imaginable.”

Watt outlined the impact the documentary had on himself and others before thanking members of his teams.

Relentless attack

He added: “For the past eight months, the waves of attack on our business have been pretty relentless. I feel terrible for our team to have to endure this for most of the past year. For that, I am sorry to our team and community.

“From a personal perspective, to have the world at large falsely accuse you of terrible things is soul destroying.

“I am really concerned about the impact this documentary has already had on our fantastic people. I am crushed by how this programme has impacted my family.

“The abuse our social media and our customer service teams have received is simply extraordinary. To them, I apologise and thank them for their stoicism in the fact of this storm.”

Watt went on to say the company will continue with the action plan built from the Wiser Independent Culture Review and that the company had made some important strides in improving working practices but recognised it still had further to go.

“Hopefully, by the end of 2022, I can look back on how what has been the most challenging two weeks of my life turned out to be a catalyst for an even better future for the team and our business,” he said.

Related topics: Beer

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