One group of people who seem intent on being added to the list [of TV presenter bigots] are ‘Top Gear’ presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. It seems the trio are in the news on a monthly basis with some ignorant remark or another.
Last week Tweedledee, Tweedledum and The Other One insulted people from Mexico and Albania – an impressive feat to rile people from two countries in one week even by their standards. Here’s what they had to say about Mexican people:
Hammond: …Cars reflect national characteristics, don’t they, so German cars are very well built and ruthlessly efficient, Italian cars are a bit flamboyant and quick, a Mexican car’s just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight… leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus, with a blanket with a hole in the middle as a coat. May: It is interesting, isn’t it, because they can’t do food, the Mexicans, can they? Because it’s all like sick with cheese on it, I mean… Hammond: Refried sick! May: Yeah, refried sick. Hammond: I’m sorry, but just imagine waking up and remembering you’re Mexican: ‘awww, no’. Clarkson: No, it’d be brilliant… because you could just go straight back to sleep again.
Complaints from viewers were sent in when Clarkson added that the Mexican ambassador would be sleeping in front of the television so wouldn’t be able to muster a protest. Unfortunately for Clarkson, and more specifically the BBC, Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza wasn’t asleep and did indeed hear the comments. He demanded, and was granted, an apology from our nation’s most prestigious TV channel (Living TV is a close second)…
While the BBC issued a rather weak apology, and has pulled the offending segment from the US version of the show, Clarkson remains unapologetic. In his column for The Sun he wrote: “Mexico doesn’t have an Olympic team… because anyone who can run, jump or swim is already across the border.”
I’m rather liberal when it comes to comedy but I fail to see anything humorous about three middle aged, overpaid, pompous men poking fun at people from a country being ravaged by drug wars. It was obviously intended as a joke and that’s how it should be taken, but when you offend people with your jokes you apologise.
By further stoking the fire Clarkson just comes across as a bigot and while ‘Top Gear’ is continuously being pumped abroad as part of the BBC World Service these three goons are increasingly becoming representatives of the UK. As Steve Coogan said in his piece on the same matter for The Guardian: “Big viewing figures don’t give you impunity – they carry responsibility. Start showing some, tuck your shirts in, be a bit funnier and we’ll pretend it all never happened.”
I might add – they simply don’t know what they’re talking about. Especially as car guys.
I’m driving a 17-year-old Dodge pickup truck that is Hecho en Mexico. If they were old enough to have been in involved with motorsports back in the day, they’d have fond memories of the Rodriguez brothers, Pedro and Ricardo. Most major auto manufacturers from Volkswagen to Chrysler and Ford have production facilities in Mexico – which produce cars and trucks up to standards meeting or exceeding the rest of the Western world.
And, I don’t believe any of those mentioned have facilities remaining in the UK. Do they?
As for the character slanders and slurs. They are common to all nationalities. As strict as I am about preventing undocumentados taking jobs away from citizens and legal residents, you also must remember the illegals are here because they’re looking for work, trying to support their families. An admirable ethic often overlooked by xenophobes and other fools.
Thanks to honorarynewfie