This latest Series of Top Gear, Series 22, has been a good one so far. We’ve seen great reviews of cars like the new Corvette Stingray and both BMW i8 and M3, along with riveting adventures through the Australian Outback and the frozen Canadian tundra. The boys are at the top of their game this series. However, this Sunday, everywhere but the US which airs Mondays, will not be occupied by Clarkson, Hammond or May.
It seems as though the infamous main host of the worlds largest motoring program, Jeremy Clarkson, has been suspended by the BBC. No official details on how or why Clarkson was suspended, only that there was a supposed “fracas” between him and another unnamed producer. No one else from the cast or crew has been suspended, but nevertheless, Top Gear will not be shown this week. He has also refused to comment, so we have no official word about what happened or how long this suspension will last.
This is only the latest in controversial headlines that Clarkson has been apart of recently. Most recently, while filming a special in Argentina, Clarkson and the rest of the cast and crew were assaulted and run out of the country by local Argentinians. Apparently, the license plate on Clarkson’s Porsche 928 for the special read something which vaguely referenced the Falklands War in which Argentina lost to Britain and still has many Argentine people upset.
Before that, Clarkson was supposedly caught using the “n” word during an outtake of the show, however he claimed it to be a mistake and that he tried desperately to avoid it. He then made a public apology. The racist remark isn’t the first racial thing Clarkson has been publicly scrutinized for.
Last season, while the three hosts were building a bridge over the River Kwai, Clarkson made a remark about there being a “slope” on the bridge. In the show it seemed as if he was referring to the bridge itself, as it was sloping to one direction. However, there was a Vietnamese man standing on the bridge, for which slope can be a racist term for. Clarkson claimed, vehemently, that this was nothing more than a coincidence, but nevertheless was crucified in the media for it.
Clarkson has had his fair share of controversies. He once even punched Piers Morgan, we’re all secretly thanking him for that. He’s never been one to keep his mouth shut or say what people want to hear. But regardless of the man’s personality flaws, to call him a racist seems like an unfair accusation. The world we live in is a tough one for people in the public eye because anything they say or do is taken out of context and blown out of proportion before the accused has even found out that they were accused of something. Once this happens, any explanation toward the contrary seems like lies and face-saving.
Clarkson, Hammond and May are the reason I started writing about cars in the first place. And Clarkson is the best of them all. There is no doubt that he is a cantankerous, pedantic and bombastic man, but that’s what makes Top Gear so great and there simply is no better motoring journalist…in the world. No one can convey the sense of actually driving a car and the way it makes you feel better than Jeremy Clarkson. He may be an angry old man, but I sincerely hope that this suspension is short lived and Top Gear is back underway again shortly.
Update: According to Jalopnik, Clarkson’s alleged “fracas” was him throwing a punch at a male producer. No word on who the producer was or why Clarkson decided to punch him. But as we know it now, the remaining two episodes of Top Gear will be postponed until an investigation can be completed.