Jeremy Clarkson is renowned for his ironic ‘joking’ but this time he has taken it to a new level. In early March, Clarkson physically assaulted his producer, Oison Tymon, and called him a “lazy Irish c***. It’s been reported that this was over the lack of a hot meal whilst staying in a Yorkshire hotel, Oison subsequently received treatment at Northallerton A&E for a split lip. The BBC called the ordeal a ‘fracas’ and responded by postponing the popular series Top Gear, much to the wrath of fans. But now, the klaxons have sounded on Clarkson, and he has been dropped by the BBC.
Although one million people signed the petition to reinstate Clarkson’s job, (for which he received a whopping salary of 14 million from last year), Tony Hall, the Director General of the BBC has stated that the decision was difficult but “A line has been crossed” and he “cannot condone what has happened on this occasion”. Indeed, Clarkson has a track record for being forgiven for actions that many of us would have been sacked for.
This week, rather than a balanced reflection or maybe an apology to save his job, Clarkson stirred the pot even more when speaking at a charity ball. He pursued his angst by stubbornly calling the BBC f*****g b*****rds. He went on to thank his supporters on Friday via Twitter saying: “Many many thanks to all of the people who have called for my reinstatement. I’m very touched. We shall all learn next week what will happen.” Since then, over a million people have signed the petition set up by right-wing blogger Paul Staines and the anonymous driver ‘The Stig’ paraded around London in a tank to honour the cause.
Many argue that the fifty-year-old presenter is ultimately employed for the entertainment he provided on the show, known to 350 million viewers weekly in 170 countries. However you put it, ‘Pub humour’, is what makes Clarkson a hit, particularly among male audiences. Top Gear is commonly aired on Dave, the channel priding itself on being the home of ‘witty banter’. It seems it has taken Clarkson to personally insult the BBC to become too controversial, but when was it too much for you?
Was it drink driving? Or referring to lorry drivers as ‘the Yorkshire Ripper’? Mocking Muslim women? Or calling a car ‘special needs’ and a ‘simpleton’? Perhaps it was when stating that all strikers should be lined up and shot, or the ambiguous mumbling of the racist n-word? Maybe sparking a diplomatic incident with the Mexican ambassador and driving through Argentina with a car plate referencing the Falkland’s was the final straw? Any way you put it, Clarkson has continuously caused controversy with offensive slurs.
Jeremy has stuck by his stance on protestors, only this time he tried to be a little kinder. He wrote in The Sun on Sunday: “The simple truth of the matter is this: Protest never works. Because we are all plankton. And the world is run by whales. Oh, you can be a big and important plankton but that doesn’t make a lot of difference if a whale has decided to eat you up. You can get a million other plankton to dress up and wave banners but Mr Whale won’t even notice.”
It seems the issue here is that the public are more preoccupied with a change to a beloved TV show than they are with the real issues that affect them. Clarkson has an apathetic view towards others peacefully standing up for what they believe in, but can’t hold it in when his lunch is on the chilly side. Maybe if he hadn’t have been too busy cruising motors around beautiful landscapes on a multimillion pound salary, Clarkson would have realised he has the fan base to send a positive message, instead of letting them down by being a joke that’s gone too far.