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Posts tagged “XDL

Words and Actions

“Queen Mary staff working with City officials worked on the CMP (Conservation Management Plan) and the Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission approved the CMP in April 2011. Since the adoption, Queen Mary staff has been working to implement various base programming elements. The Preservation Management Team has been assembled and currently evaluating [a] multi-year restoration, reconstruction, and preservation program.”

                                                                                     ~From the official Queen Mary Website~

I don’t think this was part of the city approved plan.

Several days ago, a video appeared on YouTube promoting an upcoming event to be held at The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Ca. It was a professional shoot. Cameras followed riders as they drove their bikes through the historical areas of the ship.  If you read our previous post, you are already familiar with the details. If you haven’t, let me briefly catch you up.

The video was only up for a short period of time before it was made private by XDL, the organization who shot it. It was privatized due to a very rapid, very public backlash against the current management group (Evolution Management) who, according to one of the riders from the video, “worked long and hard” with their stunt group to “preserve the integrity of the ship.”

On July 24, just a day after the promotional video blew up in management’s face, a statement of apology was released on Facebook (buried in comment threads) in response to the outrage over the ship’s involvement:

The Queen Mary maintains strict filming and third-party promotional guidelines. Conduct that presents a risk to the ship, its property or reputation as a cherished Long Beach asset and global maritime icon will not be tolerated.

The recent breach of pre-approved filming protocols by videographers contracted by the XDL Championship Series has resulted in an apology to the City of Long Beach and to the Queen Mary.

“XDL selected the Queen Mary for its event because of her iconic status. We have no interest in damaging or disrespecting the ship or her history in any way. XDL is in agreement with those who have complained about this unfortunate incident. Like them, we believe the Queen Mary is a treasure that should be protected. XDL offers its sincere apology to the City of Long Beach and the Queen Mary’s family of fans.” Randy Grube, Founder, XDL.

The XDL Motorcycle Madness event, [dates omitted], will use parking lot and adjacent land areas for all activities.

We continue to stand by our ongoing commitment to the preservation and enhancement of the Queen Mary’s historical and physical assets.

Now, at first glance, this may seem like a small victory. Representatives for the ship have assured us that the event will take place in the adjacent parking lot area (where stunt motorcycles should be). However, the apology actually highlights a bigger issue.

From the beginning of Evolution Management’s reign over the ship, they have shown two tendencies. First, they are great at saying all of the right things, but then they fail to back up their words with actions.

“We recognize how truly iconic the Queen Mary is – there’s simply nothing else like it – and we’re excited to be a part of the team that supports the ship…We plan to build upon all that has been achieved previously at the Queen Mary and are ready to apply our management expertise, tools and technology, and servant leadership philosophy to the ship, its guests and associates, and the Long Beach community at large.”

                                                                 ~Matt Greene from the Long Beach Post’s website~

Servant leadership philosophy, indeed. Their first noteworthy act as the ship’s new management was to raise parking and ticket prices without warning, and with no added value for the customer. Who’s serving who?

Second: They are prone to ducking responsibility for their missteps:

“The recent breach of pre-approved filming protocols by videographers contracted by the XDL Championship Series…”

When we do our after-hours investigations of the ship, we are required to sign a contract which states the areas of the ship we will be investigating. We are assigned a security guard who stays with our team throughout the night. He is charged with the responsibility of protecting both the ship and us. We carry audio recorders and EMF detectors. Our biggest pieces of equipment fit inside backpacks. Now, management wants us to believe that a motorcycle stunt group SNUCK on board and RODE THEIR BIKES around the ship with a full crew ~unnoticed~?

Did the riders and camera crew hide their equipment under their shirts? Perhaps someone pointed in the direction opposite the entrance and yelled “LOOK!” while cast and crew quietly rolled bikes and carried cameras and equipment aboard. In one, fell, swoop they threw both the motorcycle stunt group as well as their own security team under the bus…or ship…as the case may be. Classy.

One thing we have learned in our years of investigating the Queen Mary is that security is not stupid, and they are not lazy. They are constantly on the move, patrolling off-limit areas and handling situations. I am sure that if someone was doing donuts unauthorized on the Sun Deck of the ship amidst camera operators  and production assistants, Queen Mary security would shut it down. And if the stunt group “breached filming protocols” as the statement claims, why would they still be allowed to have their event on Queen Mary property?

Nick Lind, one of the bike riders in association with the promotional video made this comment on a Facebook thread:

“…For all of you that claim you know this ship so well, you should know that it would have been impossible to make this video without the consent of the ships staff… For you to belive that there was no consent and that the whole crew slipped past security and filmed this is absurd!! This was a promo clip for a motorcycle event not a James Bond film!!”

Shhh! They’ll never know!

He’s absolutely right. This has nothing to do with XDL, who, by the way, has held this event on Queen Mary property for several years in a row. It is not up to them to decide what will damage the ship’s integrity. That task belongs to her management team. It is THEIR job to filter out the bad ideas. The truth is, they failed here. And, instead of taking responsibility for their mistake, they lied about it, and sought out scapegoats.

There is one word that describes these actions: SHADY.

They have failed their business partners, they have failed their employees, they have failed the public and, worst of all, they have failed the ship, all of whom, they supposedly “serve.”