How Many Accusations of Racism Can Jeremy Clarkson Get Away With?
A look at Clarkson's iffy history with racism
You have to be very careful when talking about stars and their alleged racism. But Jeremy Clarkson has been accused of being racist so many times; one begins to wonder how long the BBC is going to put up with it. The latest has seen the controversial presenter deny using the word “nigger”.
Jeremy Clarkson at the Cheltenham Festival
Full disclosure: we thought about starring the word out, but we’re not calling anyone it, and we don’t condone the use of it. By starring the word out, you put it in someone else’s head without actually saying it. So in the interest of clarity, Jeremy Clarkson is accused of saying the word, and denies it on Twitter. His mates are backing him too.
But this isn’t the first time he’s been embroiled in a racism row. Only recently, he was accused of referring to an Asian man as a “slope”. A complaint was made to the BBC by Somi Guha, who accused the corporation of “casual racism” and “gross misconduct” to which the Top Gear exec. producer said: “When we used the word slope in the recent Top Gear Burma Special it was a light-hearted word play joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it.”
Then there was last month’s accusation, when Clarkson revealed on Twitter that he had named his dog after the former Chelsea player – and perennial legend at the club – Didier Drogba. To be fair to Clarkson, though, showing admiration for a sporting hero by way of naming an animal after him-or-her doesn’t necessarily constitute racism, regardless of the animal's primary colourings.
But characterising Mexican people as lazy and feckless is, as he and his Top Gear cohorts did, and were forced to apologise for, even though Clarkson vehemently attempted to defend him self in his own newspaper column. And so were his comments in India, like a car with a toilet is perfect for the natives, as everyone who goes there gets “the trots”, and suggesting he uses a trouser press to make naan bread while semi-naked in front of two Indian dignitaries.
Oh, and back in 1998 Hyundai, UK claimed he told visitors to the BBC Two show's stand that its staff had all eaten dog. He also allegedly said one of the South Korean-based company's designers had probably eaten a spaniel and – in the same BBC article that reported this - BMW's public affairs manager Chris Willows said he had been told Clarkson had allegedly referred to Germans as Nazis.
There’s plenty more, if you look for it. Clarkson has a ridiculous penchant for garnering accusations of casual racism, it would seem. And despite being in trouble for it plenty of times in the past, he hasn’t learned to curb his patois in an attempt to at least quarantine the backwards thoughts that tend to emanate from his mouth.