An analysis of Kantian deontological is the second ethical framework that I apply to discuss this case study. According to Kantian, a proposed action is morally acceptable if when compared to two formulations of the Categorical Imperative, said action it is not prohibited. The first formulation of the Categorical Imperative dictates that everyone should “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (Shaw & Barry, 2016, p.63-65). Therefore, I have to create a maxim to describe my proposed action, for example: “This star will not be sacked even though she breached the contract with me because of a profit from the potential audience she brings”. The maxim can then be universalised, as follows: “All stars will not be sacked even though they breached the contract because of a profit from the potential audience they bring”. However, if the maxim applied, there will be no meaning to the contract. There will be no reason to have a contract and follow the terms of employment. Because this maxim is self-contradictory in conception, it fails in the first formulation thus eliminating the possibility for individuals to rationalize under Kant’s ethics.
The second formulation of the Categorical Imperative holds that people should “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means”. Keeping that star to the show and not caring about her bad allegations can affect viewers who are watching them simply as a means to make a profit. Furthermore, some people watch this show may feel disrespectful when they have supported a show where the star behaves inappropriately and affects the moral awareness of human. And it is possible that the allegations of this star will also implicate those who work on the show and influence their image, from which I have taken away their ability to choose their own ends.
Conclusively, sacking the star will make the condition of contract is valid, and at the same time, I will be able to respect the audience and not affect employees working in the company. So, both Kant’s Categorical Imperative formulation were shown.
Finally, the third framework that I analysed is Kohlberg’s Theory. Kohlberg’s theory says that moral reasoning progresses successively through three levels. Each level is made up of two stages. Throughout the case study, stage three and five were applied. In the third stage, Kohlberg argued that morality is defined as the consensus of the whole society about right and wrong. In this situation, this star is accused of drinking and infidelity. For a star, the positive image is important because stars can be considered the ideal type for fans, their supporters follow. However, she was involved in bad allegations that had certain effects on the moral standards of a big star must not have. Although the prospective audience doesn’t care about the accusations, I’m referring to the long-term benefits that the star receives. The brand or any television program just wants to find a star whose life is positive so as not to affect their image in the public’s eyes. Therefore, this star did not meet the third stage of the Kohlberg theory.
In stage five, the ethical judgment leads to the social contract legalistic orientation. So, the fact that the star breached the contract of ‘friendly family’ image broke the mutual agreements between her and me in the contract that star signed. In addition, the star also broke social conventions and contract terms to protect the image of my TV show as well as her image. Maybe the star has the freedom to do these things, but those personal actions conflict with the rights and benefits of the contract she signed with me. Thus, during this stage, this star still violated Kohlberg’s ethical theory.
In conclusion, from an ethical perspective, I will sack that star. Through the above analysis and application of ethical frameworks, I found that the star did not meet certain moral theories. Besides that, I would recommend for this case study is to replace a star who is equally popular with this star and has positive aspects that meet the terms of the contract because of making so I will satisfy ethical issues.