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back to article Mexican woman gets litigious on Top Gear's ass

A Mexican woman has instructed lawyers to take action against the BBC's Top Gear over unflattering remarks made by the show's presenters about her native land. As we reported yesterday, the programme is already in hot water with the country's ambassador to Blighty after Richard Hammond likened a Mexican sports car to "a lazy, …

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From whihc we can conclude...

...that rather than being lazy, feckless, flatulent, etc. the Mexican people are instead litigious, money grabbing, opportunistic, and share the same lack of understand of irony as their northern neighbors?

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Not too far north.

Canadians may be opportunistic, but we do (usually) grasp irony and we tend to be motivated less by "personal greed/money grubbing" and a little bit more by "the common good" than the citizens of the other large country on the continent. Oh, not that we’re perfect – far from it – but I daresay that if you’re looking for cultural influences upon which to lay blame for this one, you shouldn’t be look *too* far north. Gotta defend the national pride and all, eh?

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Good on her...

I don't much care if she's right or not, if it increases the chances of these embarrassing middle aged babies being removed from my telly then I'm behind her 100%. Litigiousness is no worse a quality in a human being than smug chauvinism and the world would be a far better place without their painfully stilted 'ad-libs'.

Personally I'd quite like to seal Clarkeson in a lead box and shoot him into the sun but I fear that might create some sort of hideous mutant clarkeson with superpowers, a bit like in Superman 4 so I'd settle for just having him torn to pieces by wild dogs. But I digress...

The irony, Michael, is that you clearly don't understand irony yourself if you think Hammond's comments were meant in an ironic sense - funniness and acceptability aside they clearly were not.

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Dry y'er eyes

You and many like you will not be happy until TV is as bland as magnolia paint.

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WTF?

Some people...

need to learn to laugh at themselves, we don't get angry when Americans portray us as all as camp, team drinking, bowler hat wearing idiots with bad teeth.

Now I must bid you good day as I need to skip to the dentist. Ta ta!

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Sir

"team drinking"

That has fired up the old imagination I can tell you :D

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Anonymous Coward

Laugh at themselves.

I was in training at work once, were this guy, at the mention of the Spanish started banging on about them being really smelly and lazy, very much in the style of Jezza or so he thought.

Anyway, a couple of people found it amusing, most didn't.

Of course when the rather attractive woman in the room started to cry and had to leave the room (she was Spanish) nobody was laughing.

It can be alienating enough being in a foreign country without their media implying you are a sub human.

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Anonymous Coward

I on the other hand

work with a Spanish bloke who knows how to join in with banter. He is quite happy to take friendly insults about Spaniards as no one is upset when he throws insults back about the English. The world cup was a particularly good example of how our sense of humour works, the PC lobby would have had a heart attack had they been in earshot but both sides knew it was all friendly. When we got knocked out we were more than happy to throw our support behind his team and celebrate with him when Spain won.

As for those poor dears who can't hear a joke without taking offence and having to see a therapist because of the emotional trauma - awww diddums, try growing up, getting a sense of humour and learning to deal with life like an adult.

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Big Brother

british about australians

What about all the british comments about Australians and sheep...

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but...

It's KIWIS and sheep, you idiot. We Australians do kangaroos.

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Autralians and sheep?

Do I have my stereotypes all fildle-faddle-foo? I thought it was "New Zealanders/The Welsh and sheep." Aussies and sheep is a new one for me. Aussies and *beer* on the other hand...

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@ Dagg

gotta correct that one - everyone knows it's New Zealanders who like wooly overcoats.

Aussies are the ones who suck at cricket.

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Baaaaa

normally the Welsh and sheep jokes here

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Yeah it's all a big laugh ...

... I just hope your kids never have to live in a different country and hear that sort of thing all day in school, for example.

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Or better still

When they got the Australian car show persevered to turn up to the show in a prison transport van!

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No

Everyone knows it's New Zealanders and sheep

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Re: I on the other hand

"As for those poor dears who can't hear a joke without taking offence and having to see a therapist because of the emotional trauma - awww diddums, try growing up, getting a sense of humour and learning to deal with life like an adult."

Because adults use primary school playground terms like "awww diddums" when making a point? Seems like you could do with another trip through the (admittedly increasingly decrepit) education system in the hope that some of the lessons actually rub off, and then you might want to get a clue about harassment and how it can make people's lives miserable.

Dropping the puerile "banter" would be a good first step for you, however, fool.

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£1 million?

"said the Telegraph" should really be "hopes the Telegraph". The Torygraph has, after all, got years of form on BBC bashing. I imagine other parts of the print media are likely to suggest even greater figures.

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Anonymous Coward

"BBC bashing"

That started in the 80's when they refused to cow-tow to Thatcher by broadcasting tory propoganda.

The tories have been bitching about them ever since.

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A mexican tramp?

So a mexican car was compared to a mexican oaf...

It's hard to tell if that insults the car or the oaf more, but I don't think it insults anyone else.

If you compare an english car to a tramp, it hardly insults all english people - only the car or the tramp (or both or none).

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FAIL

Except...

They didn't just compare a Mexican car to a Mexican oaf. They were expounding on their purported* belief that automobiles reflect the characteristics of their national origin. In other words, they weren't saying it was oafish because it was like an oaf, but that it was oafish because it was from Mexico.

* as in jokingly -- as in stupid jokingly. The correct way to deal with the type of idiots who think this kind of boorishness passes for actual humor is to ignore them -- especially when they're on an eminently ignorable show like Top Gear.

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Pint

That got me thinking...

What about a car that runs on special brew?

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Happy

I've been to Mexico

And I had a lovely time and would recommend it to anybody.

Everybody knows what Clarkson and Co and like. I don't think their comments although stupid are of any real consequence. Some of the comments they make about cars are equally ridiculous. Can't see many car companies threatening to sue.

I would imagine Mexico would be more concerned about the fall out from Swine Flu that than Top Gear.

Who can remember their statements about Truck drivers? Funny

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Anonymous Coward

I remember the truck comments...

I rushed round to make sure my brother (a truck driver) watched that episode... He laughed his head off all the way through!

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Anonymous Coward

the

The initial comments weren't xenophobic, however the reactions of some "individuals" gives one momentary xenophobic thoughts.

The Germans, French, Polish and, Australians seem able to take a ribbing, and they get it far harder than any of these other nations.

Here's some advice don't like the British wit? Go forth and multiply.

I am pretty fed up of these people (and by these people I mean feckless idiots who like to try and make a name for themselves by piling into a bit comedy.)

How long till some of these stupid laws get scrapped for giving idiots rewards for being pitiful?

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My thought exactly...

Proving discrimination might be a bit tough though... Clarkson and pals have made jokes at the expense of pretty much everyone and everywhere, including each other. Which to me sound like the complete opposite of discrimination. Equal opportunities insulting.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: My thought exactly...

Again, not to fight any side in particular but "middle-aged white guys take piss out of each other" isn't especially convincing as evidence of equal opportunities...

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Perspective

Top Gear is a comedy entertainment programme Sarah, not a documentary. I suspect that joke missed the mark rather, but if we are to legislate on questions of taste then we are on a slippery slope indeed.

It's also a bit difficult to prove discrimination given the

Also, I think you'll find that James May in not (by origin) middle class unlike the privately-educated Jeremy Clarkson.

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Anonymous Coward

Equal

Equal opportunities has no place in comedy, Mexicans are more than welcome to create comedies featuring English fopps chugging down poorly selected spirits whilst talking about putting flags into other countries beaches and declaring them their own countries. Or that the nation is over run with speed cameras, cctv and, chavs.

Though I'm sure you'd find some British folk complaining. It's just what people do.

The last thing any of us (well most of us) want is bland sterile comedy that revolves around pronounciation mistakes and slaps with large fish (though these have their place.)

British comedy has a long tradition of taking the piss out of sterotypes foreign and domestic, and the people that use these to good effect know full well that they arn't true and that their audiance know this as well. I doubt that there are many people that think Mexicans really do just wear sombreros and sleep all day whilst occasionally spitting tobacco.

The sterotype however is still open to ridicule.

British comedy is often at its best when it's being caustic, both inwardly and outwardly, people are welcome to be offended but to remove all possibility of offence is to leave the medium a hollow empty husk not worthy of air.

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Reminds me of..

... Mr Mackay from Porridge

"I do not discriminate, I treat you all with equal contempt"

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Heart

As a middle-aged white guy ...

... and straight and Christian ^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h God-botherer (must remember to use the local language) working in the NHS, I find that I am in the ONLY demographic that people are allowed to take the piss out of at work. It's so tiresome that I'm thinking of gaining a disability just to make it all stop.

Really, Ms Bee, I'd expected better of you than that (see icon). Unless I've missed your point, of course, which is perfectly possible: after all, as a bloke, I don't really do the communication thing properly, do I?

Do you need to ask "why anonymous?"

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: As a middle-aged white guy ...

You're not anonymous to me.

My point was that white guys, as is generally accepted, are the dominant racial and social group in most of the world. So if there is pisstaking, it's generally done from below, as one might take the piss out of one's boss.

If you find that people don't take you seriously if you claim to be victimised on this score, that's why. It's not likely to be personal - it's just that you occupy a certain position of strength and are thus, up to a point, fair game. (I'm a white Westerner myself so I inevitably cop for a bit of this, and I don't have an issue with it.) This isn't something I've made up in my own head - it's kind of how it works, as I think you probably realise.

I'm not saying everyone has carte blanche to be horrible to white males - I think it's generally a good idea to avoid being horrible to anyone - but history dictates that a joke at the expense of a white bloke (for his whiteness or his blokeness or his white-blokeness) does not land with the same force as others.

So my point was that a couple of people from the same group - a group generally accepted as powerful - rib on each other a bit, it doesn't count for an awful lot if you're building that particular case, ie they're beastly to everyone which lets them off the hook. You can't justify a white guy taking the piss out of non-whites on the basis that he takes the piss out of other white guys... it doesn't work like that. I do think it's true that the Top Gear guys have a pop at pretty much everyone on that same crude level, which does put this kerfuffle in some perspective and lessens its seriousness - but still, it was unneccessary and mean-spirited.

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Re: Re: As a middle-aged white guy ...

It works the other way too - Mexicans taking the piss out of each other isn't any evidence of equal opportunity piss-taking. People within the same group happily insulting each other is an entirely different matter - it's a consensual thing.

I never suggested anything about blokes not being good at communicating - there's no need to get defensive there.

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comedy

Dear sarah

So why is it that it is ok for russell brand, bill hicks, frankie boyle etc to give a a 40 minute verbal rape aimed at a nation, but if a cupple of middle class white chaps in loafers do it it is racist, they never once refered to colour just a nation and they have said worse about us scots or the french.

But yes I still think they are funny and love the show, you know what you are getting when you tune in so suck it up or turn it off.

The media make me laugh when top gear went to iraq they where not inbeded in a 40 vechile road trip or handing out press releases from men in shiny boots and short hair and they tried to show Iraq as country filled with people not war ...but hey bet you did not write a story about that.

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Re: comedy

I don't follow.

Please don't compare Frankie Boyle to Bill Hicks, though.

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we know

they are all comedians/ entertainers personally i dislike both bill hicks and frankie boyle probably for the same reasons you dislike the TG terribad 3, but hey because you like Bill hicks it is fine for him to do a one man show where he hammers mexicans but a 3 minute poke in TG is to much for you?

double standards.

Top Gear is as much a motoring show as I have got news for you is a hard hitting current affairs program it is all comedy sarah even if you don't like it.

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Re Re: As a middle-aged white guy ...

Sarah, I see your point. But in my opinion, nothing is worth as much as not to take the piss out of it. This is, basically, my carte blanche to be 'horrible' to everyone. However, never should one forget that the audience is what makes the difference between a joke and an insult. It's the simple but all-important question about which pisstaking is appropriate in which situation.

Mexicans being insulted? Well, said comments on TopGear where arguably among the low end of its humour. But TG is a pisstaking show... (and showed how thin-skinned Mexicans are?)

Or is it ok to take the piss out of German, 'merkins, French, British, etc. but not Mexicans? When you say pisstaking is generally from below and white blokes won't be offended as much as others is it because they are, in your opinion, above the others? I hope not.

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Re: TG equal opportunities

Sarah, can you imagine the uproar if they replaced Clarkson with a black woman, and then made the same "pubes for hair" comment they regularly make towards Clarkson?!

The BBC's switchboard would melt from the influx of complaints! Most of which would come from the white middle-class who feel they should be offended on behalf of any black people who didn't see the program... All completely forgetting that the target of the joke, Mr Clarkson's replacement, was laughing about the joke and not at all offended.

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WTF

"The possible hit to the BBC's wallet could be £1m in damages, the Telegraph says"

Is that £1m to be shared amongst all Mexicans who were offend by the remark, or just to the woman who sees an easy way to make a quick buck.

We'll be as bad a the US soon with an ambulance chasing lawyer on every street corner...

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We'll be as bad a the US soon...

We're already there and have been for some time.

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Take it to Court?

"it'll be the first to be heard under the Equality Act"

Perhaps it was the BBC's intention to test the Act in court and start getting some precedents set.

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Re: Take it to Court?

Conspiracy!

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So, I deduce that...

1. Aussies have a far better sense of humour as they were ON THE SHOW having the piss taken out of them royally (goes for Germans, too, Sabine Schmitz and last TG's international Anglo-German compo, anyone? Fancy having less sense of humour than the GERMANS, cripes!)

2. Mexicans aren't above trying to grub for some ambulance-stalking cash

3. This woman is more of a Mexi-can't than a Mexi-can if she's STILL a student at 30 (or maybe she went back to school so she could play with shiny things)

A deuce of a case, what, Holmes, old boy?

Oh and I think you'll find it's political correctness against the world rather than anything against political correctness. No-one hates simple truth & facts spoken plainly more than the feckless and likely flatulent PC community (in general, not in TG land!).

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Re: So, I deduce that...

Yeah but to be fair it's a completely different dynamic when you're taking the piss out of someone who can immediately answer back. You can't really argue on that front.

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comments here

Top Gear has ragged on Americans for ages, and we haven't sued them once (as far as I know...)

I'm waiting for a Top Gear US vs UK battle next. That should be hilarious.

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Anonymous Coward

Political Correctness

"A deuce of a case, what, Holmes, old boy?" Jesus f*ing Christ, really? I think it's you that needs a sense of humour "old boy".

I think you might be, just like Clarkson, an old, fat half-woman.

Also, the reason that everything seems 'obvious' to you is because you are stupid not because you are smart.

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Pirate

Clarkson's lawyer-

heard that. He wants £1M for what you just called him.

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I think it's all about realtive power.

Australians and Germans have really no reason to feel threatened or inferior to the varied denizens of the UK. When the power imbalance is skewed, things get a little bit...squiggly.

Take Canadians as an example. We tend to let such things slide off our backs...unless it's the Americans poking fun. (For the last time America, we aren't your hat. We're bigger and we're on top, if this were prison, you'd be *our* bit*h!)

A lot of it is probably driven by perceived inequality between the cultures the individuals came from. The UK is far better off than Mexico in many ways. Mexico is catching up, (in part due to Mexico's economy improving, in part due to the UK collapsing,) but from the perspective of a Mexican it might well honestly look like being bullied by a bigger kid.

It doesn’t have to be a real advantage. It has only to be a perceived one. Canada is again a great example. Pretty much everything about Canada is more awesome than the US. We have more freshwater reserves, more hydrocarbon reserves, larger mineral deposits, a functioning economy, a reasonably chance of pushing our federal, provincial and municipal debts back below 10% of the GDP and oh, yes…real Education, Health Care and Social Services.

Regardless of all the numerous advantages that Canada has, the Americans have one exceptionally important one that they absolutely love to wave around. With Canada having only 34 million, our GDP – while higher per capita than that of the US – is still small in absolute terms. With that comes the inability to fund a large enough military to defend ourselves against that rather large bully to the south. Until the day that Canada becomes part of the European Union each and every one of us knows the terrible, terrible truth.

Despite the fact that Canada kicks US ass in almost every way…we only exist because they let us. For now. I hope and pray that CETA is the first step along the road to Canadian independence from the long shadow of the erratic people with nuclear weapons to the south. CETA may herald a more permanent socio-economic link that will one day see Canada take it’s rightful place in the union.

Until that day, Canadians will always overact a little when it is the Americans (as opposed to pretty much anyone else) doing the ribbing. Perhaps not unlike the Mexican woman taking this “little joke” a little too seriously.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

> "Top Gear has ragged on Americans for ages, and we haven't sued them once (as far as I know...)"

I wouldn't be so sure. They done a Top Gear US Special, where they gave the cars away at the end for FREE to a Christian Mission in New Orleans. A lawyer threatened to sue Clarkson for misrepresentation after she heard the car wasn't a 1991 Camaro (it was a 1989 model), but would drop the suit on payment of US$20,000.

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Re: comments here

Yeah, I can't wait to see your colonial boys try to drive the track, it's got tight corners!

Is there actually a TG US?

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