Jeremy Clarkson, right wing pundit and presenter on the ever popular everyman BBC TV money spinner car show, Top Gear, has not had his contract renewed. He has always been controversial, and the last incident was the brick that broke the weary camel’s back. He has a long line of things he has got up to, which I will later list. Essentially, he is a very rich man who doesn’t seem to have a care in the world for anyone or anything, whether it be the environment, foreigners or fellow workmates. As the Economist reported:
Mr Clarkson’s satnav seems to steer him towards controversy. In May last year he said he had been given a final warning by the BBC after it was claimed that he had said “nigger” while reciting a rhyme during the filming of an earlier series. In October 2014 the Top Gear crew had to flee from Argentina after being attacked by angry crowds during a road trip because the registration of a Porsche they were using appeared to refer to the date of the Falklands war. The BBC says it is investigating the latest incident, which, according to some reports, involved Mr Clarkson throwing a punch in a row over a lack of food on an assignment.
“Top Gear” earns a good deal of money for BBC Worldwide and for its star. The commercial rights to the series used to be controlled by a company called Bedder 6, a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, and 30% owned by Mr Clarkson and 20% by Andy Wilman, an executive producer. The dividends from that company alone made Mr Clarkson a multimillionaire. In 2012 the pair sold their shares to BBC Worldwide. Mr Clarkson is said to have received £8.4m ($12.6m) for his stake.
The man was suspended for assaulting a colleague. As a result, over 3/4 million people signed a petition to reinstate him. Really? This is how we deal with something like this? What a strange public we have.
Oh no, that’s right, they’re all starting to vote UKIP. Makes sense now.
As one of my friends wrote this amusing comment on facebook:
It’s in the BBC employment guidelines: if you commit a violent criminal offence such as common assault on another staff member, you must be prepared to have your employment status assessed relative to your popularity. If your popularity is high enough you are likely to be sacked — only not immediately.
This is how stuff.co.nz list his antics:
Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear have for years traded on sneering at “political correctness”, tacitly supported by the BBC. However Clarkson’s antics put the station in an increasingly difficult situation in recent years.
Top Gear damages a tree in Somerset by ramming a truck into it. Then a few months later reportedly causes ecological damage in Scotland with a four-wheel-drive.
Clarkson makes a Nazi salute on the show, joking that the BMW-owned Mini could have indicators that operated like a Hitler salute. It’s one of what would be many anti-German slurs.
Clarkson describes a car as “a bit gay”. The BBC agrees the remark should not have been broadcast.
Top Gear is accused of damaging environmentally sensitive wilderness areas in Botswana.
Clarkson drives a truck and makes the comment: “What matters to lorry drivers? Murdering prostitutes?”
Clarkson calls former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has vision in only one eye, a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”.
Motoring enthusiast and former Top Gear guest Steve Coogan writes he has “had enough” of the show and accuses the BBC of tolerating the show’s “casual racism”.
Clarkson complains about a 24-hour public sector workers’ strike, saying they should be “executed in front of their families”. The BBC apologises for him.
Clarkson says people who throw themselves under trains are “selfish” and refers to them as “Johnny Suicide”. His comments are branded “extraordinarily tasteless” by mental health charities.
Clarkson makes a joke at the expense of singer George Michael, saying a Jaguar “will get its tail out more readily than George Michael”. George Michael responds on Twitter that Clarkson is a “pig-ugly homophobic tw*t”.
Top Gear offends the Mexican ambassador when all three presenters make offensive comments about his country. James May describes Mexican food as “like sick with cheese on it”. The BBC apologises.
The Indian High Commission demands an apology after Top Gear makes a special in India, where Clarkson says: “everyone who comes here gets the trots”.
Clarkson tweets out numberplates of motorists who annoy him on the road.
Clarkson calls Britain “a nation of 62 million complete and utter bastards” after he tweets that his dog has died and people responded unkindly in a “non-stop tirade of abuse”.
Clarkson insults “short people”… “When you’ve finished using a car, put the f—ing seat back, so humans can use it afterwards.” August 23, 2012
Animal rights group Peta calls Clarkson “ignorant and unfeeling” after he posts this photo on Twitter with the following words: Sadly, some animals were harmed during rehearsals for Top Gear Live in Moscow.
Sadly, some animals were harmed during rehearsals for Top Gear Live in Moscow. pic.twitter.com/2LzEXyHccJ— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) February 22, 2013
Clarkson uses the racist term “slope” in an episode shot in Thailand. Looking at a bridge that the presenters built, he says: “This is a proud moment but there is a slope on it.” The BBC later claims that the presenters knew the word was “used to refer to people of Asian origin” but thought it was “mere slang”.
Clarkson names his dog “Didier Dogba” after the former Chelsea footballer who originates from the Ivory Coast.
The Daily Mirror reveals unaired footage in which Clarkson apparently uses the “N” word while reciting the rhyme “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe…”. Clarkson denies he used the word but admits in his weekly newspaper column: “I’ve been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked.” It is later revealed he narrowly avoided disciplinary action that could have sent him packing over the incident.
Top Gear is involved in a fracas in Argentina after locals take offence at Clarkson’s numberplate, which reads H982 FKL, which some claim is a provocative reference to the 1982 Falklands war.
The BBC finds that Clarkson assaulted a Top Gear producer and suspends him and the show. It then sacks him.
Back to me now. The BBC has reported the latest episode as follows:
The row, which took place in a Yorkshire hotel, was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided following a day’s filming.
An internal investigation began last week, led by Ken MacQuarrie, the director of BBC Scotland.
It found that Mr Tymon took himself to hospital after he was subject to an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack”.
“During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip.”
It lasted “around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness,” Mr MacQuarrie noted in his report.
“The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period” and “contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack” Mr Tymon, who believed he had lost his job.
He has thrived on his controversial appeal. I like Clarkson as a presenter of Top Gear, when I rarely get to watch it. He has an easy way with celebrity interviews on there, and the program is pretty enjoyable. But my greater point is this: had I racially abused someone and then punched them in the face, I would undoubtedly be sacked. I would also possibly be struck off or find it very hard to get a state teaching job again. And for good reason. What annoys me are the sorts of opinions abounding which state that because he brings so much money into the BBC, his misdemeanours should be absolved, like compensation = justification. It does not. This latest episode, on a final warning, has a very clear cut conclusion.
He should be sacked. End of.
Now fuck off and go make your millions on the moon (my anger is somewhat fuelled by the following two articles).
If you want to see the utter inanity and insanity going on on Twitter, see here:
Utterly worth a read, though it should make you angry.
[EDITED 28/03 for a bit more clarity]