The Internet has flattened the world. Now, news and videos are shared instantly. For some, that is good. For others, like the BBC’s popular TOP GEAR show, it might not be the greatest of ideas. The show, which was featured on 60 MINUTES last year, is coming under fire for its racist and stereotypical comments about Mexicans. The issue gotten so serious that the Mexican Ambassador of London called the segment “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating,” in a story from The Guardian.
‘These offensive, xenophobic and humiliating remarks serve only to reinforce negative stereotypes and perpetuate prejudice against Mexico and its people,’ Ambassador Eduardo Medina-More Icaza wote in a letter to BBC executives demanding an apology.
He also continued with this:
The presenters of the program resorted to outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable insults to stir bigoted feelings against the Mexican people, their culture as well as their official representative in the United Kingdom.
Here is the segment in question (UPDATE: The BBC has blocked YOUTUBE broadcast of this segment, so all you get is this below now. This happened around 11 AM EST today):
Luckily, we have a file of the clip and here is the video that the BBC tried to block:
The Guardian listed some of the comments that the hosts said on the segment:
‘Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.’
[Co-Host Jeremy] Clarkson went on to joke that being Mexican would be “brilliant” because then he could sleep all day.
He said he was confident he would not receive any complaints about their comments because the Mexican ambassador would be asleep.
However, the ambassador did complain and wrote: “It is utterly incomprehensible and unacceptable that the premiere broadcaster should allow three of its presenters to display their bigotry and ignorance by mocking the people and culture of our country with such vehemence,” the ambassador wrote.
Ok, we love good comedy, but once comedy starts using tired and stale jokes, it stops being funny. The hosts at least could have been a bit more creative, but instead, they went for the cheap laugh and in the meantime, perpetuated stereotypes that Mexicans have been fighting for years. This has no place in popular culture.
If you would like to express your thoughts, you can contact the BBC on this link.