The latest controversy surrounding Jeremy Clarkson.
A few days ago, I saw the infamous article that detailed Jeremy Clarkson’s allegedly racist remark on one of the outtakes of Top Gear. After reading the article, viewing the video, I dismissed this as nothing more than a mere middle-aged man mumble caught on film.
I was sure that this would blow over in no time. Why? Because Clarkson has survived a Mexican stand-off with its ambassador. He has been bashing American food, culture and accents for years. While the “N-word” comment was not on ANY broadcast, Jeremy’s insult of truck drivers was. In an episode where he drove an 18-wheeler through a series of challenges, he was recorded actually using the words “murder a prostitute…” to prefer to their behavior. He blatantly joked about the ancestry of the Australian Top Gear hosts to their face after having them chauffeured in prison wagons.
Clarkson has survived making rude and demeaning comments about people from almost every country on the globe, and challenged his own government’s aptitude.
To his co-presenter’s chagrin, he’s made a myriad number of comments belittling the female of the species. The man has insulted India and even desecrated a sacred burial ground. Heck, Clarkson raced a Jaguar with the sun and called God a loser! After issuing a written defense of his innocence in this latest incident, the BBC has given my hero an ultimatum and forced his hand into a public apology; apology for a mumble that wasn’t even aired? You have got to be kidding me!
As an African-American, one can understand that I have heard the N-word any number of times. I have heard it in many dialects from many age groups and in many situations. I am no language expert, but I am an N-word expert. Jeremy Clarkson did not use that word. I do understand how it could be perceived as such, especially after hearing the deluge of accusation. Besides, if you look for anything long enough…you will find it. None of the accusers have even considered that “ninney”, a truly British word could have been mumbled.
I am angered that the curmudgeon is being berated for allegedly doing what the BBC has allowed him to do to make the show a success for 21 seasons. His rants have gained the allegiance of millions and made the BBC and Clarkson a ton of money. Although the show is about cars, I am sure millions of non-enthusiasts tune in weekly just to see what Jeremy will say next.
I totally disagree with the accusations of The Daily Mirror, the actions of the BBC and the opinions of those who feel that Clarkson should be “sacked”. There are enough of our gearhead heroes leaving us and enough serious problems to deal with in the world. We can afford to overlook the desperate accusations of a tabloid. After all, this is the same publication that recently printed an article entitled: “Brad Pitt Wears Beckham’s Underwear”. Surely it’s a reliable source.
Funny thing, while I was searching for the original clip, I was guided to The Daily Mirror’s website several times. This episode has funneled a lot of traffic to the Mirror making the site the hub for information on the subject. Much the same way that Clarkson drew a lot of attention to Top Gear.
I feel that this whole issue has made Clarkson a scapegoat, the BBC a parent and the cars were just used as a tool. I am also angered that my favorite car show is the battleground for civil rights and governments when reality shows insult our intelligence on a regular basis. I guess this is the first time I will have been insulted when a racial slur isn’t used.