Ahh, Jeremy Clarkson. Last year, you offended Mexicans. This year, you go after the largest English-speaking country and one of the most Internet savvy communities in the world: India.
Last month, Clarkson and his “Top Gear” band of idiots filmed their wildly popular show in India. And Jeremy was in rare form as The Guardian reports:
During the 90-minute special, which was aired twice over the Christmas break, Clarkson made a string of jokes about the Indian food, clothes, toilets, trains and even the country’s history.
Incidents during the show included Clarkson driving a Jaguar around an Indian slum with a toilet fitted in the boot, and stripping off his trousers in public in front of two Indian dignitaries to show them how to use a trouser press. He joked that he used it to make naan bread.
Now the Indian High Commission has formally lodged a complaint to the BBC. Oops. The Guardian story continues:
“We have received a letter [of complaint] from the Indian high commission,” said a spokeswoman for Top Gear. “We will be responding directly to them in due course”.
The spokeswoman would not elaborate on the exact nature of the complaints, although a report in the Telegraph says that the high commission letter accuses the show of being “tasteless” and breaking a filming deal.
“The programme was replete with cheap jibes, tasteless humour and lacked cultural sensitivity that we expect from the BBC,” the high commission said in its letter, according to the Telegraph. “I write this to convey our deep disappointment over the documentary for its content and the tone of the presentation. You are clearly in breach of the agreement that you had entered into, completely negating our constructive and proactive facilitation.”
According the the Guardian, the UK’s most racists ambassadors—Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May—pulled their tasteless and lazy humor pranks throughout India. Here is just a snippet:
One stunt involved putting banners with seemingly innocuous slogans – such as Eat English Muffins – on the side of trains. However, the banners were strategically placed so that when the trains carriages split a new, offensive, phrase emerged: “Eat English Muff.”
The train banner stunt included one slogan that said “British IT For Your Company” that transformed into the word “Shit For Your Company”.
The BBC initially received 23 complaints about the show, which attracted five million viewers when it first aired on 28 December, although the spokeswoman said on Thursday that this number has now risen to 188.
Once again, “Top Gear” is playing to the lowest common denominator of bad and racist British humor. There is wit and then there is “Top Gear.” The fact that it is still popular only confirms that Clarkson knows his audience: better to offend with bad and lazy jokes than to try and be a bit more witty and intelligent. Controversy is a part of comedy, but only when it is good. Give us Monty Python any time.