It all started with this:
Then the BBC blocked it from YouTube. And it now appears that for the producers of the BBC’s popular TOP GEAR show, they are having problems putting out a social media fire. Even with a half-hearted BBC statement released earlier today, the momentum has already taken a life of its own. Here is a summary of the latest events:
Fox News Latino Picks Up Story
Fox News Latino published its initial report about the story, after visiting our blog and reviewing the video. Kudos to FNL for understanding the power of social media and seeing that sometimes your best sources come from blogs.
The Economist: A Staged Publicity Stunt?
A post from The Economist’s blogger in Mexico suggests that because the BBC was losing money, the whole TOP GEAR segment was a planned publicity stunt to draw them some social media buzz and attention. However, the result was disastrous, especially in Mexico:
TOP GEAR, to the eternal embarrassment of Britons living in Mexico, is very popular here. But one network of radio stations has already said it will boycott BBC content in protest. This week’s stunt might have gone down well in the domestic market (population: 62m), but it has been an own goal in at least one export market (population: 112m). How long before the TOP GEAR PR machine crunches into reverse?
We think the PR machine is already going backwards.
US Latino Organizations Write to BBC America
Tonight, 18 US Latino Organizations, headed up by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, drafted a letter to BBC Worldwide America President Herb Scannell asking that his company to not air the TOP GEAR episode on BBC America and to also remove it from any “future worldwide syndication deals.”
Social Media Comments
Here is a just a sampling of some of the comments we have seen throughout Facebook tonight (we kept the names anonymous, but we pulled them from a public page):
- “This is overboard. We as Mexicans can make a comment like this, yet a person that is not Mexican can Not. The show is a car show with humor, british humor at that and has a history of making fun of everything under the sun as well as themselves. Lighten up, nothing was serious about.”
- “This incident demanded an immediate response. If we let them slide, what’s next?”
- “No one is entitled to make comments as repulsive as these; if we, as an ethnicity attack and steriotype ourselves what can we ask of the world? I ask you to think of that, and reflectionate about that comment.”
- “A person from another country could easily watch one episode or snippet of Lopez Tonight (who makes horrible un-funny jokes about Latinos), Real Time with Bill Maher, or Tosh.O and get offended.”
- “Ughhhh Dear Herb Scannel You really EFF UP “pendejete”….
Hope the Mexican Lady who filed the motion Wins….
1 Million Dll to her…. The dudes( anchors) will be unliked for a long time In MY MEXICO.. Also I hope they’re prepared to be the object of Satires, Dark Jokes & Sarcasm….. BBC I guess you should screen your material before Air it…. AND I LOVE THE DAMN CHANNEL…”
- “For those of you that think that we are going overboard or overreacting , ARE YOU KIDDING ME ?? did you hear their words ? Did we watch the same video ?? It’s not acceptable !! As a MEXICANA I found it repulsive , of poor taste and judgement!”