back to article BBC apologises for Top Gear outrage

The BBC has apologised for its trio of laddish Top Gear presenters who managed to offend the whole of Mexico with some hilarious racial stereotyping. As we previously reported, during a studio discussion of the comparative merits of sports cars from Germany, Italy and Mexico, jet car pilot par excellence Richard Hammond …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Is this a title?

    Am I the only person who read their apology as, "Sorry we offended you, but you really need to get a sense of humour"?

  2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Strange

    I'm reading about that apology and it seems more insulting than the original jokes. That surely couldn't be the intended, could it?

  3. Mike 135

    Is it even broadcast in Mexico?

    I was there in December last year and for a country that loves, and manufactures, cars I was surprised to hear that Top Gear is not shown there. So I am not sure how much offence can really be taken seeing how few Mexicans speak English and that the program is not broadcast there anyway. I think the BBC is missing a massive market although seeing who owns the Mexican media I am not surprised they want to steer clear.

  4. Zest
    FAIL

    It's just a joke

    Top Gear is an entertainment show with car bits thrown in. It can hurt when your own nationality is made fun by the presenters but can be hilarious when they make joke about others. Hope they don't ban top gear because the oafs in it are fun to watch.

  5. PaulK
    Big Brother

    I am sad to report...

    ...the death of humour as we know it. Don't get caught laughing or you risk being summarily judged for being racist, sexist, bigoted, lewd, discriminatory and simply human. You have been warned.

  6. Marcus Aurelius
    Troll

    Compare and Contrast

    The on screen antics of Clarkson, May and Hammond with the off screen antics of Keys and Gray and the resulting punishments of both parties...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mexicans on ITV

    Something was on ITV last night that had a lineup of Mexicans in stereotypical dress (a blanket with a hole in the middle, worn as a coat along with a big hat and a guitar, I think Richard Hammond would say) and the panel had to guess which one was the real Mexican. They made fun of the Mexican people too, with comments like "Ooh, I feel like I'm working in US border control".

    Will anyone be mentioning this? Has His Excellency already drafted a letter of complaint for ITV?

    Anyway, I'm expecting some kind of insincere on-air apology by Hammond on Top Gear followed by a huge back-handed compliment about Mexicans by May, ending in Clarkson assuring His Excellency that they meant no insult to the good people of Mexico, who they're sure lead bountiful lives full of blameless bourgeois domesticity in common with the rest of us. Apart from their sports cars, which are rubbish!

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Megaphone

      But they do make fun of ourselves

      But they do make fun of ourselves, everyone overage are reckless drivers who smash through rail crossings, young people are people who have small crap overpowered cars who rip up carparks whos parents have green houses outside the front door

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good grief!

      "It can hurt when your own nationality is made fun by the presenters but can be hilarious when they make joke about others"

      This sentence could be used as the definition of "narrow minded intolerance" in any dictionary.

    3. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Megaphone

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

      I wouldn't hold your breath.....

  8. JDX Gold badge

    Sheesh

    Real men don't apologise, ever. Sorry but that's just the way it is.

  9. Jord
    Thumb Up

    Ha ha

    "jet car pilot par excellence Richard Hammond"

    Love it

  10. Wommit
    Joke

    Does this mean...

    that the ambulance chasers, and their 'outraged' and 'insulted' clients will crawl back under their PC stone?

    /Joke

    PS. This is intended as humour. Sue me and I'll throw my overdraft at you.

    PPS. See the JOKE icon.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Lame

    "Our own comedians make jokes about the British being terrible cooks and terrible romantics, and we in turn make jokes about the Italians being disorganised and over dramatic, the French being arrogant and the Germans being over-organised.... [ ] stereotype-based comedy was allowed within BBC guidelines in programmes where the audience knew they could expect it, as was the case with Top Gear.... [ ] ... Whilst it may appear offensive to those who have not watched the programme or who are unfamiliar with its humour"

    Utterly lame. Assuming they weren't watching for the first time, they did know what to expect. They also quite likely chortled through the rest of their stereotyped humour, until it was them.

    Makes me almost as annoyed as the woman who loved Frankie Boyle until his humour touched on something affecting her family. Hilarious when it's someone else, not so much when it's you.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    And what did the aussies think

    Of their lot turning up in a group 4 van? Or the merkins and their usual lambasting?

    Mexico Fail.

  13. Scott Mckenzie

    Wow

    Quite a balanced response from the BBC there... i'm glad they're not hiding behind political correctness gone crazy!

  14. The Original Ash
    FAIL

    Hilarious?

    It was funny for about 5-10 seconds; The typical time these pseudo-racist rants of Clarkson's go on for. When Hammond and May both jumped in too with their own slurs, it just became uncomfortable. I expect, and enjoy, that kind of humour from Frankie Boyle, as that's his shtick; Offending people.

    That 1 minute segment shouldn't have been aired. Not because it was in bad taste or offensive, but because it was rubbish.

    1. CaptainHook

      Exactly

      I was going to say the same thing.

      It was neither offensive enough to be funny, like Frankie Boyle is, but was too long winded to be an off the cuff one liner.

      They managed to find the 1 unfunny way of making their point which I guess takes a special sort of talent.

    2. Chris Miller

      Or as the Duke put it:

      Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles: Never apologise, son. It's a sign of weakness.

      She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Quote from?

      I guess that could be a quote from Sid the Sexist. You know, the guy who tries to always look big, but is a spineless insensitive narrow minded tw*t that "never done it"?

      My wife says "real men jump off bridges", so off you go. I'm not a real man... or I maybe it's because I don't stand by stupid quotes.

    4. Frank Bough
      Thumb Up

      Agreed

      Clarkson makes it work because he has carefully constructed his buffoon character and plays it to the hilt with fair helping of genuine wit. Hammond is a pathetic puppydog of a man, desperate to please at any cost and May? Well he's just too naiive to do this kind of unscripted TV, much as I like him.

      1. conel

        Unscripted?

        'unscripted TV", and you call May naive

    5. Argh!
      WTF?

      Double standard much?

      " I expect, and enjoy, that kind of humour from Frankie Boyle, as that's his shtick; Offending people"

      Uh, what? "It's OK for Frankie Boyle to go on extended race-centrered comedy rants, but not Jeremy Clarkson, he only gets 10 seconds" Who made up that rule?

      "Not because it was in bad taste or offensive, but because it was rubbish."

      Sez you. Top Gear's ratings vs. most other Beeb programs would seem to disagree. About the only way to avoid watching things you don't like or you don't want to hear is give up TV, at least you'll save your license fee.. oh and radio, and, well, talking to people I guess.

      .

    6. Kevin Ault

      It's entertainment, get over it

      Well, It made me laugh. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

  15. John Lilburne

    Star in a car

    Perhaps they can offer to have the Ambassador as a star in a reasonably price car, and in spirit of the show he can grow a moustache for the occasion.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Arnold Lieberman
    Go

    The Next "Star in a reasonably Priced Car"?

    I'm sure the ambassador would oblige.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A title is required

      Personally I hope they don't have the Ambassador on because he sounds like a twat.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    With apologies to Kahlil Gibran

    Pity the nation that cannot laugh at itself, or take a joke made at its expense.

    Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when its self image is taking a bit of a kicking or it wants a handout from the World Bank.

    Pity the nation whose major contribution to fashion is the sombrero or the handlebar moustache, or to recent history the loss of Texas, and some rather attractive bits of Southern California

    Pity the nation whose Ambassadors have nothing better to do than sit around watching daytime repeats and doing "disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" style letters to the BBC...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: With apologies to Kahlil Gibran

      If you hadn't mentioned the bit about the loss of specific territories to the US or had been a bit more vague, one might have thought you were referring to the UK.

      Interesting cultural reference, though.

    2. Argh!
      Joke

      Don't dismiss too lightly

      "Pity the nation whose major contribution to fashion is the sombrero or the handlebar moustache"

      Oh come on... a major influence on porn films is nothing to be sneezed at :-)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Quid Pro Quo

    Does this mean I have to stop stereotyping BT Click journalists as a bunch of clueless charlatans who claim to hire Russian crooks, then abuse and mock the victims of their crimes, to make shock TV stories that in fact are largely untrue? (Thinking of the BT Click Botnet debacle).

    Because, while I'm certain Mexicans are no worse than any other group of people, I'm not sure my view of the integrity and honesty of BBC journalists could sink much lower.

  20. dotdavid
    FAIL

    Having seen the episode in question last night...

    ...I am so glad the Aussies appear to have a sense of humour and have (as yet) to sue the BBC. There was much more "national stereotyping" of them in that episode!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Haha, most Aussies

      revel in our national sterotype (especially when they're overseas).

      Ironically if you don't revel in it, you constantly get asked if you're British (my family has been here for generations and I constantly get asked exactly that).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Poinf of view of a foreigner in England

    I have spent time in many countries and my opinion is that Englishmen indulge a bit too much on this stereotypical jokes. I think you need a few more appointments with your doctors to work on that "complex of superiority" problem.

    It's not a matter of being offensive.... but that type of humour gives away a bit of the English way of thinking.

    Finally, the BBC apology would be acceptable in most cases but not for Jeremy Clarkson who has been involved in this type of incidents too many times. He is simply an idiot that should not be paid with the TV license money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      So...

      Surely your first para is a whole set of personal prejudices and stereotypes on its own - or is it OK because you're being polite? Sounds like a bit of the old "complex of superiority" if you ask me.

      So what then? Its OK to think your better than everyone else, provided you wrap it up in aloof politeness and don't give away your "way of thinking"? Or are you suggesting that such lowbrow behaviour is unique to the oafish natives of these islands.

      I too have been a foreigner in quite a few other countries and have generally found that local people, once they get to know you, very much enjoy a bit of friendly and expressive banter that relies just as heavily on narrow stereotypes as ours does . However they do seem to be less burdened with rather earnest apparatchiks whose sole driver in life is to protect the world + dog from any possibility of encountering even the mildest offence from cradle to grave.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Andy S

      As an Englishman having lived in many countries, well quite a few anyway, and currently living abroad I can tell you that everybody indulges in stereotyping. Nobody believes I don't like football and they can't understand why I don't think their food is anything special. Maybe you should have mingled more with the locals.

      1. Jeff Minter
        Linux

        Harmless vs damaging stereotypes

        Oh come off it. Those stereotypes are hardly offensive. Englishman doesn't look football oh noes!!!

        How about this - a white man in a far eastern country is labelled a paedophile. Not so harmless now, eh.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Argh!

      Sorry you feel that way

      " I think you need a few more appointments with your doctors to work on that "complex of superiority" problem."

      *shrug* an overdeveloped superiority complex is a natural cultural trait from a nation that used to own 1/2 the world in much the same way that cats haven't got over being worshiped in ancient Egypt. See what I did there? Most of us laugh at our own stereotypical traits just as much as we laugh at others.

      There's a difference between exaggerated racial stereotyping for the purpose of humour and people who genuinely believe it. I realise it can be a little uncomfortable in a foreign country and you can get the impression everyone believes the stereotype - I've been to a few places where Britons are viewed as all football hooligans, others where they are seen as snobbish and posh, others where they are seen as clueless fools. Is it good? Not especially, but I'll take the harsh words over the sanitising of everyone's thoughts any day. Do you really want to live in a world where you have the urge to consult a lawyer before saying anythign for fear of offending someone?

      As for Clarkson, the man's a buffoon and quite frequently says things that make me want to scream or cringe or possibly even hit him if he happened to be close enough at the time, but I'll fight tooth and nail for his right to say it because we're supposed to live in a free country. One bastion of gratuitous political incorrectness in a flat and dull sea of conformity? Personally I think there's room for a couple more and it's *exactly* what the BBC should spend money on IMO - part of the point of a publiclly funded oragnisation is to make less popular things that wouldn't otherwise get funding.

      Of course, in this case the ratings would suggest that his buffoonery is actually fairly popular. You could see that as an indicator that peope agree with him, but I don't know anyone who takes him terribly seriously so I prefer to see it as a sense of humour in the population. I get the impression he doesn't always agree with himself and is playing up the image deliberately - self deprecation in that back-handed way also being a part of British humour.

    5. Adam-the-Kiwi
      FAIL

      Point of view of another foreigner, this time in Scotland

      I've also spent time in many countries and I think you're talking out of your fundamental orifice. Every nation I have ever been to engages in this type of humour and every nation without exception contains large numbers of people who believe that are superior to everyone else simply because of the accident of geography that was their birth.

      I agree that Clarkson gets paid too much of the license fee, though...

    6. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      WTF?

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

      OOooHhhhh!!!!!! I LOVE a good stereotype I do.. have you got any more?

      I'd suggest that you re-read your opening statement and think again about stereotyping.

      I'd suggest you need to spend a little LESS time with your doctor and work on getting some life experience.

      Pillock! and not because of your race/colour/sex/creed but because it describes you perfectly

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        what I was expecting...

        A lot of responses like yours.... but funnily enough I got upvoted by 8 people.

        And about my stereotype in the opening statement: of course I know it's a stereotype and I have used it on purpose....

        but somehow answering the stereotypes with another stereotype makes me a pillock.... oh well...

    7. Homard
      Alert

      @ Andy S

      No sense of humour. Must be a German. There we go again with our national stereotypes !

      I like Top Gear. Long may it continue. I am sick of the PC mob ruining humour. Top Gear isn't racist. If it was targetted at only one religion or faith, then perhaps that accusation is fair. But Top Gear target everything in as non PC a manner as possible. ANYTHING is fair game. How is that racist ?

      Now a polite message to the PC mob to 'get a bloody life you sad limp wristed people'. I toned that down because you're all too feeble to accept anything stronger.

      Humour is part of how we get along. Learn to dish it out. Learn to take it back. Through it learn about each other, instead of hatred and misunderstanding. How is that bad ?

      One question. What does Speedy Gonzales think ?

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Idiot

      For anyone who did not know, Top Gear is the BBC's biggest Export. They make so much money selling it abroad and to Dave that they don't need to pay Clarkeson et al from the license fee - they are paid from royalties.

      get a life!!

  22. Richard Tobin
    FAIL

    Not funny enough

    Some people reject a joke because <whatever subject> isn't funny. But it isn't the subject that's crucial; you can have a joke about anything provided it's funny enough. And that's where Top Gear failed. It just wasn't funny enough. It's stretching to call it a joke at all - more a list of insults. Clarkson et al aren't comedians - they're just not good enough to judge the line between humour and unmitigated offensiveness.

  23. pompurin
    WTF?

    Pre-emptive Apologies for everything

    Perhaps we should just display a pre-emptive apology for anything on TV on the off chance it might offend just one person. Much like South park does at the start.

    People need to toughen up, I feel offended by some of Frankie Boyles jokes but I just accept that's the way he is. I also think some of his jokes are brilliant, again that's just the way he is.

    How do we put an end to this incessant litigiousness that is spreading throughout the world? It's paralysing creativity and basic freedoms.

    1. Stumpy
      Black Helicopters

      Easy...

      @pompurin: "How do we put an end to this incessant litigiousness that is spreading throughout the world? It's paralysing creativity and basic freedoms."

      Easy ... snipers outside every lawyer's office and courtroom....

      1. CD001

        Yup

        Except you'd never get the paperwork past health and safety

  24. Just Thinking

    What's this?

    Anyone remember those sombrero based Mexican jokes of yesteryear?

    O-O

    or even

    -O-

    Still as funny as they ever were.

  25. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Start the program with a warning

    "If you're easily offended - Fuck Off!"

  26. stooz

    mocking stereotypes

    making jokes about stereotypes is irony. its aimed at people who know the stereotype to not be true.

    thats the joke - because we know better. I see everyone is ignoring the fact they failed to bleep one of the aussies saying the B word while upside down at 8.10pm? that okay then for 10yr old kids to hear foul language? still available at 11:26 on iplayer....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And how do I complain to the BBC about the apology

    ie that I don't think they should have bothered with one.

    1. __PB__
      Thumb Up

      title?

      That warning would obviously need to be preceeded by the standard:

      "This program contains string language from the offset."

    2. gotes

      "b word"

      I thought it was acceptable to use the word "bastard" before the watershed now? They said it on the Simpsons back when they were being shown on BBC2, which was quite a few years ago.

    3. Argh!

      Yup

      "that okay then for 10yr old kids to hear foul language? still available at 11:26 on iplayer"

      Yes, because I don't rely on the BBC to raise my children or teach them when certain language is and isn't appropriate to use and if they are 10 and not raised in a bubble I'll guarantee you they've heard far worse for at least 5 years in school.

      The same argument applies as for the racial stereotypes thing. You can't expect everything you hear and see to be sanitised and non-offensive so you have to be *very* careful to seperate out the cases of genuine harm from the "just get over it".

    4. Shane Orahilly
      Go

      Duke.

      They may not have bleeped Bruce/Bruce/Bruce (can't remember which of them it was, they all look the same to me, did their visit count as returning to the scene of the crime etc.), but if my memory serves me right, they did bleep Clarkson for the same word in the same show.

      Perhaps there was a contextual difference that warranted one being allowed and not the other, such as proof of illegitimate parentage being presented to make it an honest observation instead of a derogatory term. Bastard is also used as a reference to something "of abnormal or irregular shape or size", which could be applied to at least 2 of the 3 UK presenters.

      Of course, this means we can all go on TV and call our fathers motherfuckers on primetime :D

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      reminds me

      of someone who went to see Roy Chubby Brown live, and then tried to make an official complaint about the language.

    6. DANNYBOY2010

      TOP GEAR

      SORRY BUT THIS ISNT THE FIRST TIME TOP GEAR HAS OFFENDED AND IT WONT BE THE LAST SO WEN UR SITTING THERE WITH UR CHILDREN U SHOULD BE FULLY AWARE OF WAT THE SHOW IS LIKE

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Poinf of view of a foreigner in England"...

    ...is, of course, irrelevant. It's a very British show for the British. Vulgar humour has a long pedigree here. You can call it bigotry if you like, but when everyone insults everyone else, only the insecure take offence.

    1. Richard Tobin
      Thumb Down

      "Only the insecure take offence"

      What kind of argument is that? It's ok to offend the insecure? Sounds like bullying to me.

    2. Stuart 22

      Funny Foreigners

      Yes - a test of any culture is the ability to send itself up. That by definition is stereotyping and its great fun to apply it to johnny foreigner too. But that's the point - if the sending up is affectionate it is legitimate comedy.

      When stereotyping is used negatively then it is bigotry and people should say so.

      The trouble is the nuance between the two can be difficult for other cultures to distinguish . As I find Japanese humour ... strange. The problem for the BBC is that in a multicultural society it can cause no offence and offence to these different groups. Banning stuff because someone finds it offensive would neuter most comedy. Controlling comedy that is deliberately denigrating another group is what a responsible organisation must do.

      Sometimes not easy. Frankie Boyle is one I can't decide on. Maybe part of his act is to walk the edge.

    3. kissingthecarpet
      Headmaster

      Poinfs usually are irrelevant

      because "poinf" doesn't mean anything, dickhead. The test, of course is to substitute, say, the word "Jew" for "Mexican" in ClarkCunt's insults. If they sound a bit neo-Nazi, then they're not a joke, merely racist remarks. The pathetic thing about Clarkson is his desperate need to be seen as "one of the lads" , an affliction that strikes many upper-middle, privately educated wankers like "Jeremy".

      Proper national stereotyping should only be applied to oneself, in order to take the piss out of one's own countrymen, & let's face it, there isn't a shortage of potential comedy gold in that area, is there?

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Listen to yourself! ffs

        Proper national stereotyping should only be applied to oneself...

        bit of critical thought

        I'm welsh (can't help it)

        I live in essex. (i could help that, but what can you do?)

        i get to hear a lot of sheep jokes,

        it's a bit tedious sometimes, but there you go.

        my fault for being an exotic foreigner.

        should i take offence, wales is, after all, a different country.

        what about yorkshire types taking the piss out of southern softies? same country..

        people from colchester taking thepiss out of them from ipswich

        people from my street taking th episs out of people from the next street...

        and on and on.

        and before you know it them fucktards who want sharia law in this country have won!

        fuck em, if someone says something that offends you, say so and if they reply tough, or bollocks or simlar, then suck it up. Dont buy their product/watch their show or whatever.

        NO ONE has the 'right' to go through life without being offended.

        as Bernard Manning said......

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Listen to yourself! ffs

          It's true the argument *really is* that simple!

          Please don't quote that appalling oaf. He may have been literally correct on the right not to be offended, but a) stopped clock, etc, b) if he did say that then he used it as an excuse to say a lot of sickening things and c) I doubt very much that he came up with that on his own.

          Ta.

        2. Argh!
          Joke

          The spirit in which it is offered

          "I'm welsh (can't help it)"

          Well at least you were the perfect person to respond to the previous post - probably something to do with being used to hocking up a pint of flem over whoever you're talking to......

          Of course I'm assuming and hoping you'll take that jibe in the friendly manner in which it was offerred or I'm going to have to go get a lawyer......

          1. Naughtyhorse
            Joke

            pml

            well i;ve never been so insulted in all my life!

            you sir will be hearing from my representitives, Sue, Grabit & Scarper in due course :D

            p.s. sarah bee, not a BM fan then? :D

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          The Bernard Manning comparison is apt.

          Because that's where Top Gear is clearly going. Five years from now it's just going to be three increasingly pot-bellied late-middle-aged old fogies sitting around droning on about their mother-in-laws and how much they hate foreigners and poofs. That kind of material is lame and was already getting pretty bloody old in the 70s when I was growing up. So much for Top Gear then; so much for edgy, or innovative, or any of that; it's just going to get increasingly lazy and self-indulgent(*). This episode is a pretty clear sign to me of a show that's run out of ideas and really needs to be euthanized before it disappears up / becomes a parody of itself.

          (*) - Impossible though that might seem.

  29. Nick G
    Joke

    Is it too late?

    I'm just wondering - is it too late for me to sue Fox over the Simpsons Book of British Smiles? I've been offended by it many times...

  30. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I wonder

    if 'allo 'allo would be let past the censors?

    since its full of racial sterotypes

  31. Johan Bastiaansen
    WTF?

    Did the Mexicans ever apologize

    Did the Mexicans ever apologize for the death of Kirsty MacColl and how the investigation was handled?

    I suggest NO apologies and a hefty fine of about 3 pence and that should be the end of it.

  32. ici.chacal
    WTF?

    I just don't get it...

    I don't understand the mentality of a person that feels utterly compelled to make a complaint over some nonsense on TV. What kind of small-minded person takes personal offence over that kind of thing. Those people have a problem.

    As for the Japs and the QI thing, gimme a break - those people are still in denial...

    And I agree with a previous comment; the Aussies took far more of a battering where stereotyping banter is concerned, but they seemed to be a fun bunch of lads, and they all had a good laugh over the antics.

    Still, I would like to see what would be in store for our lot if they were ever invited to a re-match on Aussie Top Gear, heh...

  33. TheProf
    Stop

    Frankie Boyle

    Wait a minute. Frankie Boyle is a comedian?

    1. DANNYBOY2010

      FRANKEY BOYLE

      SO BEING A COMEDIEN MAKES IT OK AND BEING THE HOST OF A CAR SHOW MAKES IT WRONG

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Australians?

    In the same show there was much more negative stereotyping of the Australians, but I haven't read any news stories about Australian complaints. Why would this be then?

    It's simple really. Clarkson mentioned the Mexican ambasador. Somebody watching decided to contact the ambasador and tell him. The ambasador then watched the show on iPlayer and decided to complain (this explains the delay in the complaint). Then he contacted the Mexican media who published the story, then lots of Mexicans watched it too and decided to complain. If the ambasador hadn't been mentioned I doubt there would have been any complaints.

    The fact is that most of the hundreds of complaints came well over 24 hours after the show aired. This is just like the Ross/Brand incident. The BBC received very few complaints at first then the media started to take offence on behalf of Mr Sachs and suddenly the BBC were inundated with complaints. There really should be something done about this sort of complaint.

    Back in the day they used to have a problem with Mary Whitehouse and her cronies. If one of her group saw something that they thought they should be offended by they would contact the whole group and the whole group would complain. The Beeb used to neatly sidestep this sort of massed complaint back then, they need to do something similar now. Somebody who sees something and is genuinely offended obviously has every right to complain, however somebody who watches something knowing in advance that they will be offended does not.

  35. Bill Fresher

    Hmmm

    I've just seen a man wearing a poncho, huge sombrero and a bushy fake mustache delivering what looked like gifts to the Mexican embassy. Let's hope this isn't the Top Gear presenters' idea of an apology.

  36. CD001

    To be fair

    I reckon the only reason the Mexican Ambassador complained was to prove that he WASN'T asleep with the remote in front of the TV and thereby justifying his wages.

    He's probably put his feet up or gone for a quick nap now, knowing that he's done a good job for the year :)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A title is required

    I wonder how many of the Mexicans who were so deeply offended let out a little snigger at all the stuff about the Aussies. If there was even one then i think we need to add "hypocrits" to the cultural stereotpye too.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Solution....

    Get the beaner mobile on the TG track...If it clocks a decent time, the 3 of em can offer up a grovelling apology. If however, it turns out to be a real bag o' shite then the quips were justified...

    Sorted...

  39. Stratman

    title

    There are far too many people with not enough to do who take it upon themselves to be offended on behalf of others. Instead of taking on the imagined angst of those clearly unable to think for themselves, they could do something useful with all their spare time. Voluntary work perhaps, or become a PCSO if they really can't stop busybodying.

  40. Nick Galloway
    Grenade

    Revenge

    Get the ambassador on the show and make his the star in a reasonably priced car and see what time he does. If he is fast, then he is used to being chased by the drugs cartels and if he is slow, he will provide evidence for the comments made. Either way, he loses!

    Well done Top Gear and continue providing comedy that does not recognise the santised reality of political correctness. Viva Top Gear!!!

  41. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
    Joke

    UK Equality legislation

    Under the equality legislation the boys from TG were probably legally obliged to do a joke about the Mexicans at some point soon. They've been rude about everyone else and have reached the point where anyone who has not been the butt of the show must in a position to claim they have been discriminated against.

    Just be glad you aren't ginger haired and Welsh too.

  42. Alan Denman

    A positive stereotype

    Jokes have now evolved into non negative stereotyping.

    However prehistoric Top Gear tried to move from the negative 'thick Irishman' to a safer distance of the 'lazy Mexico'.

    To get a balance does the 'thick Irishman' stuff now return?

  43. usbac

    A little prespective

    I work with several people from Mexico. They're the guys that showed the video to me. They all think it's funny as hell, and don't get the whole outrage thing.

    Their response was that they though it was us up-tight Americans that don't have a sense of humor anymore.

    In fairness, most of the Mexicans I know work harder than us Americans. And they actually have a sens of humor!

  44. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Outrage

    My company does buisness in Mexico. This Tuesday they banned travel to Nuevo Laredo. Yesterday the chief of police in Nuevo Laredo was gunned down. Frankly, you would think Mexico would have more on their mind than being outraged at a TV entertainer who spouted off some (badly outdated) stereotypes.

    Now... if TG had made fun of the car for being "a Narco escape vehicle that fights with itself more than the cartels", well then Mexico might have a complaint.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    BULLSHIT!

    Top Gear. All good tongue in cheek silliness. stupid Gringos need to get sense of humour. Us toffy nosed limeys have been chuckling at our own failings for decades. Maybe they should do the same.

  46. JMB

    BBC apologises for Top Gear outrage

    Anyone living or working in Mexico who can confirm whether Mexican television ever offends the British or any other countries so we can get apologies from them and their ambassador.

  47. DANNYBOY2010

    TOP GEAR

    WHY DONT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE OFFENDED BY TOP GEAR NOT WATCH IT SOME PEOPLE WHO DO WATCH THE SHOW TAKE THE REMARKS AS LIGHT HEARTED HUMOUR AS ITS AN ENTERTAINMENT SHOW I KNOW THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS TOPIC BUT FRANKY BOYLE MADE THE BEST POINT EVER ANDY GREY WILL NEVER WORK AT WEMBLEY AGAIN FOR HIS SEXIST REMARKS BUT FRANKY BOYLE HE WOULD SELL OUT WEMBLEY BY USING THE SAME REMARKS IN A STAND UP FORMAT MY POINT BEING THAT SEXISM AND RACISM HAPPENS ALL OVER THE WORLD YET ITS THE BRITISH PEOPLE THAT ALWAYS GET THE "RACIST" TAG ITS NONSENSE

  48. DANNYBOY2010

    WELL WELL WELL

    lets look at something else from the show on sunday at wat point did the aussies complain about the stereotyping which went on they never they new it was light hearted banter turning up in a prison van being called bruce i just think theres to many people out without a life trying to ruin everybody elses entertainment JUST SWITCH THE F*** OFF SIMPLES

  49. S 11
    Go

    Everyone sucks actually, just count them all

    I'm a white guy in Texas who was practically reared by immigrants. I love them dearly, but the anti-white culture is a sizable demographic here. That being said, most white people in USA are monolingual, and the modern stereotype of the Mexican should be that they were so busy ripping-off corporate America that they failed to leverage the bilingualism they are rapidly loosing.

    I chose GO because we need to move beyond governments and venerate functions and tools

  50. cum grano salis
    Thumb Down

    um...

    If they had mentioned instead that they have somehow failed to pull themselves out of the hole they come from, despite almost a century of tax-free exportation of labor, US cash, and smuggling of random car parts and done absolutely nothing for their home country, the ambassador would probably agree and try to distract with "ooh, we have beaches." Maybe characterizing them as baby thieves, drug smugglers, murderers, cop killers, or tiny-cocked men with severe machismo problems who, at any slight inference of an insult will attack you with his chin and puffed chest, "que paso" or "waa oppeeng?!", subsequently getting stabby on you and your girlfriend's face, or throwing acid on you, would just be accepted as fact. Sleepy Mexicans is just over the line!

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's been said already but...

    ...I'm with the couple of gentlemen above who point out that the problem with that piece was not it being allegedly offensive, insulting, racist, or whatever. The problem is that it was simply rubbish: unimaginative, too long, too predictable, too stereotypical (which is fine if you're mocking the stereotype, but that wasn't the case)... it was rather embarrassing, really. I was left thinking that surely, for the kind of money they make, they could get better scriptwriters.

    I hadn't watched the show for years (Ok, I don't actually have a telly, which doesn't make it easy) precisely because of what I thought was its ever decreasing quality in recent, and not so recent, times. They really should kill the show before it becomes a grotesque shadow of its former self--though it may be too late for that now.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Few things to note

    The Mexican government is easily offend but never looks at them selfs. They complain about how the US detains illegals but won't hesitate to shoot illegals crossing their borders. With that said their plenty of Mexican American comedians that would of made top gear comments look tame. Look on MTV tres or Carlos mencia beaner routine (ok so he is from Honduras) .

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Racism?

    Look can we stop calling it racism please? The Mexicans are not a race, nor are the Australians or for that matter the British. Call it bigotry if you want or jingoism if you prefer, but it isn't racism.

  54. Steve Evans

    iplayer edit...

    Has anyone notice the subtle edit on the iplayer recording of the program? I noticed it vanish off the iplayer list the other day and thought "spineless BBC have pulled it" but then it returned... A quick check to about 17 minutes revealed the Mexican comments were still there, so I thought they must have just had a glitch...

    However, having just played the entire section back to a friend who missed the show, I find that all the Mexican jokes remain *except* Clarkson's comment about the ambassador! Looks like Mr Ambassador was only bothered about his own reputation and couldn't give two hoots about the reputation of the country he is supposed to represent and promote.

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