Most Americans who know who Jeremy Clarkson is know him because they watched Top Gear on BBC. I enjoyed watching the show to see the cool cars, but was never an ardent fan. So last March, when the show was initially suspended and then canceled after Clarkson was fired for reportedly trying to punch a producer, it was no big deal to me.
Now, however, I realize I should have been calling for Clarkson to get sacked long before he actually did.
The column begins:
“Now that women can vote and homosexual couples can marry, you might imagine that the world’s student activists, trade union leaders and environmentalists would pat themselves on the back and break open a bottle of sustainable elderflower juice to congratulate themselves on a job well done.
“But no. They have decided that we must now all turn our attention to the plight of people who want to change their name from Stan to Loretta, and fight for the right for men to have babies.”
Clarkson goes on to say that as far as he was concerned, “men who want to be women were only really to be found on the Internet or in the seedier bits of Bangkok. They were called ladyboys, and in my mind they were nothing more than the punch line in a stag night anecdote.”
And it gets better. He went on to say that parents that support their transgender children are “poisoning” their children’s minds. “[Children] dream impossible dreams,” Clarkson wrote. “You don’t actually take them seriously. You don’t take them to a hospital when they’re 10 and say, ‘He wants to be a girl, so can you lop his todger off?’”
And if that’s not enough to make you realize what a “todger” Clarkson is, a quick Internet search shows that he is an equal opportunity bigot. (First two are from Wikipedia, and the rest are from Jalopnik.com.)
• December 2006: BBC upheld complaints from four different viewers angry over Clarkson’s description of the Daihatsu Copen as “a bit gay.” He also described the vehicle as “ginger beer,” which is apparently British rhyming slang for “queer.”
• December 2009: A gay couple was reportedly denied tickets to watch Top Gear being filmed. That led a BBC spokesperson to vehemently deny the claim, saying, “We do not — absolutely do not — discriminate against same sex couples … . The whole implication that Top Gear is in any way homophobic is completely wrong.” (Maybe Top Gear wasn’t homophobic, but it sure seems like Clarkson is.)
• June 2006: Clarkson pisses off members of the UK’s Transports and General Workers Union by saying in a newspaper column that any truck driver who doesn’t yield right of way to a car is an “inconsiderate jumped-up little Hitler bastard” who should be “shot in the middle of his face.”
• March and May 2007: Clarkson’s Top Gear co-star Richard Hammond suffered brain damage in a 280 mph crash during a Top Gear shoot in 2006. When he returned to work, in March 2007, Clarkson asked him if he was “a mental” now. A couple months later in May, Clarkson asked Hammond if he “dribbled.” Needless to say, advocates for the mentally disabled and those with brain injuries were not amused.
• In 2009, Clarkson and his costar James May made spoof ads for Volkswagen, once of which said the Scirocco TDI could make it from Berlin to Warsaw in one tank, and another that included an on-screen “suicide.”
• November 2009: Clarkson pissed offed Romania by calling it “Borat Country,” making jokes about communism and saying that Gypsies “can be violent if they don’t like the look of you.”
• February 2011: Clarkson and Hammond made jokes about Mexicans. Hammond referred to the Mexican-made Mastretta sports car as “lazy,” “feckless” and “flatulent,” then said, “I’m sorry, but just imagine waking up and remembering you’re Mexican.” Clarkson responded, “It’d be brilliant because you could just go straight back to sleep again!”
• November 2011: Clarkson called for the public execution of striking workers in Britain.
• July 2013: MG car company was originally British-owned but is now Chinese-owned. In a review of the company’s MG6, Clarkson managed to piss off officials in Britain and China as well as the carmaker when he said the car was “as Chinese as a chopstick.”
• March 2014: Referring to a bridge in Burma, as a construction worker was crossing it, Clarkson said, “That is a proud moment. But there’s a slope on it.” (“Slope,” in case you don’t know, is a racial slur for Asians.) That landed BBC with a lawsuit filed by an Indian-born British actress.
• May 2014: Clarkson apparently used the N-word while chanting the eeney-meeney-miney-mo nursery rhyme during unaired rehearsal footage.
There’s more, but my fingers are getting tired. Besides, surely by now you get the picture.
BBC has already dumped Clarkson and Top Gear. But you could always send The Sunday Times a note asking why they are publishing such drivel from such an absolute asshole.