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"?
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 …
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.
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!
"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.
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.
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.
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.
" 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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
" 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.
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...
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
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...
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 ?
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.
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.
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....
"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".
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
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.
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?
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......
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.
"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......
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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!
...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.
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) .
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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