As a culture, we have always embraced the bad boy, the anti-hero.
In the 1950s, Marlon Brando was a consummate bad boy in “The Wild One. When asked “What're you rebelling against, Johnny?” he replied “Whaddya got?”
In the late 1960s and 1970s (heck, even today), Jack Nicholson captured this role in several films, such as “Carnal Knowledge” and “Five Easy Pieces.” Just look at this scene when he tries to order toast.
Today, you turn on the TV and look at the protagonists we are suppose to root :
Walter White on Breaking Bad? Producer and seller of methamphetamine.
Omar Little on The Wire? This breakout character was a renowned stick-up man of drug dealers.
….the list could go on…and this is just fiction. Look at reality TV: Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsey, Russell Hantz, Omarosa, etc.
How about in books? The most compelling character in years is Lisabeth Salander - an antisocial hacker - in the Steig Larsson trilogy. Team Jacob and Team Edward in the “Twilight” series? Ummm…they are a werewolf and a vampire.
The movies? We watch “The Dark Knight,” not for Batman, but for Heath Ledger’s Joker.
So, given the fascination we have with the dark side, what has prevented HR from becoming the same bad boy? What will transform it from a perceived villain to that anti-hero that the public loves?