Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Clarkson’

Top Gear, the UK’s favorite show when it comes to insulting Mexicans, is currently facing criticism for its recent December episode from India. While the Indian government called for the BBC to take action on the show, the show’s producers insist that the episode was not offensive at all.

As reported by The Times of India:

“The Top Gear road trip across India was filled with incidents but none of them were an insult to the Indian people or the culture of the country. Our film showed the charm, the beauty, the wealth, the poverty and the idiosyncrasies of India but there’s a vast difference between showing a country, warts and all, and insulting it,” Top Gear said in a statement yesterday.

“It’s simply not the case that we displayed a hostile or superior attitude to our hosts and that’s very clear from the way the presenters can be seen to interact with them along the way. We genuinely loved our time in India and if there were any jokes to be had they were, as ever, reflected back on the presenters rather than the Indian people,” it added.

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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.

Credit © BBC

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.

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2011 was a momentous year for this blog. The biggest accomplishment was that it surprassed 100,000 unique visits and the total stats will reach over 130,000. Here are the 2011 top 10 posts of JRV.com:

10. TOP GEAR Host James May Reportedly Goes Nutty on a Plane: 1,183 reads

9. Latest El Nuevo Día Poll in Puerto Rico Concludes that Luis Fortuño Administration is a Disaster: 1,309 reads

8. TOP GEAR Now Offends Albania: 1,658 reads

7.  BREAKING NEWS: Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño Resigns, To Join FOX NEWS (APRIL FOOLS!!!): 1,702 reads

6. The 1917 Jones Act: Puerto Ricans as U.S. Citizens: 1,732 reads

5.  INTERNET HOAX ALERT: Senator John McCain Comments Questioning the US Citizenship of NBA Star JJ Barea: 1,877 reads

4. Top Gear” Video the BBC Doesn’t Want You to See: 2.658 reads

3. Fernando Varela Performs a Bilingual Version of Coldplay’s YELLOW Live in Concert: 3,377 reads

2. TOP GEAR Host Jeremy Clarkson Statement on Mexican Controversy: 4,110 reads

1. Why Puerto Rico Will Never Become the 51st State: 4,169 views

To all of our readers, followers, critics, and commenters (BRUCE!!!), thank you!!!!! WISHING YOU ALL AN AMAZING 2012!!!

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Just when you thought 2011 would be over for the Jeremy Clarkson, the man whose TOP GEAR “Mexican Sports Car” segment seemed to offend almost every Latino in the world earlier this year,  the BBC’s controversial TV star was facing even more problems last week in the UK.

It all started with this rant on November 30 episode of the BBC’s The One Show. When asked about the recent general strike that recently occurred in the UK, Clarkson had this to say:

Maybe the 1% has a new spokesperson?

As you might expect, Clarkson and the BBC were barraged with complaints, so much so that the popular host of TOP GEAR had to issue a somewhat more sincere formal apology (unlike the silly one he did during the Mexican controversy).

As he told The Sun on December 1:

“I was just making a joke about the BBC’s need to be impartial. If you listen to the whole interview, you’ll see there isn’t a case to answer.

“I started by saying I supported the strikers. Obviously, because it’s the BBC, I have to be impartial. So then I said they should be shot.

“Most people who are complaining haven’t seen the full interview. It’s a knee-jerk reaction.”

Clarkson’s initial comments on The One Show received over 5,000 complaints to the BBC, as reported by the British media. Even the Prime Minister, David Cameron (a friend of Clarkson’s), called it a “silly thing to say.”

Ah, Jeremy, you just can’t stop.

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This morning, as I was researching stories for this week, I noticed something extremely cool: 100,000. Yes, today, the little blog that could surpassed an amazing little milestone: 100,000 unique visits here.

So, in the spirit of Sally Field’s Oscar speech, I would like to thank the following people who helped make this blog a destination point on the Internet, ever since it was launched in early 2009:

  1. Latinos in Social Media (LATISM): You were there from the beginning, and I am eternally grateful. Can’t wait to see everyone in Chicago this November!
  2. The Original Twitter Posse: you made me laugh, you challenged me, you picked me up when I was down, and you have made my online and offline experience a joy. Much love to you all!
  3. Jeremy Clarkson: thank you for being a anti-Mexican boor.
  4. Republican and Pro-Statehooder Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño: your vendepatria ways have allowed this blog to be one of the top ones when it comes to Puerto Rican politics.
  5. CNN Latino in America: without your uneven and poor show two years ago, there would be no Latino Success Stories blog.
  6. Fernando Varela: my brother is a talent and I was honored to co-translate a Spanish version of Coldplay’s YELLOW for him.
  7. All the trolls who want me to move back to Mexico. Memo to you: I am an American citizen. Bite me.
  8. The Rebeldes!!!!: my new group of ruffians, The Latino Rebels, are perhaps some of the most like-minded people I have ever met.
  9. The Two Raúls: Raúl Ramos y Sánchez and Raúl Colón. There are so many others who have helped this blog (see LATISM), but the two Raúls have been there from Day 1. Thank you for your unwavering support.
  10. And YOU: all the subscribers who take a moment from their busy lives to read this blog. Without you, this blog would never have achieved what is has done so far.
The future is even brighter in 2011: new books, new companies, new ventures, new topics, and two elections in 2012, one in the United States and Puerto Rico. Should be freaking fun.


Hit it, Sally!

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As reported a few days ago on Being Latino magazine and here, the call from prominent U.S. Latino organizations to remove the infamous TOP GEAR Mexican video segment (posted at the bottom of this page) has succeed. Yesterday, BBC Worldwide America President Herb Scannell replied:

So, people, what do we learn from this?

  • Yes, if you have issues, you need to go into constant action, especially when it comes to social media. Social media gives you access to share your content (both good and bad) to a worldwide audience.
  • BBC America took the letter sent to them seriously. They are cc’ing the FCC too.
  • BBC America also knows that the growing U.S. Latino demographic is watching. This letter was a quick response.

However, what this letter does not do is the following:

  • It makes no mention of BBC megastar and TOP GEAR host Jeremy Clarkson. So far, Clarkson and his two amigos, Richard Hammond and James May, have not faced any disciplinary action. Just some lame (and yes, racist, in the case of Clarkson) statements (still waiting to hear from May) about how we should all relax and know that this is just humor.
  • The BBC also seems to be endorsing the behavior of the TOP GEAR guys since (guess what?) this story has actually gotten TOP GEAR tons of free publicity. We think that is just lame.

What TOP GEAR should do, in the spirit of social media, is to acknowledge the errors of their ways. Have fun with this story. Film in Mexico. Ride the Tortilla Car. Have Clarkson drink a Tecate on air.

Or how about this? Make a serious statement about how humor can indeed go to far and adds to the problem of illegal immigration violence in the U.S. That would be noble and would actually win Clarkson a lot of new viewers.

In the meantime, the TOP GEAR defense is starting to heat up. Here is one post called Liberal snobbery moves into ‘top gear’. The columnist writes:

But there is something more to this latest round of disingenuous outrage and eye-contact-avoiding contrition. In the myriad criticism aimed at Top Gear and its man-child presenters, one can hear the sound of sabres being rattled as liberal, right-thinking types affirm their superiority over a mass of people who quite like a programme about cars. For his critics, Clarkson, you see, is more than a person. He’s a phenomenon. Seasoned anti-Clarkson warriors are not just seizing the opportunity to have a pop at theirbête noir. They are seizing the opportunity to have a pop at all those they think he represents: the ignorant, the selfish, the people who laugh at tongue-in-cheek references to Frenchies and Eye-ties.

Yes, the perspective in England is different from that of US Latinos, and that is the crux of the issue for us. Remember: once the BBC records something and posts it publicly on YouTube and then, more importantly, block the video after it was shared by many, you are in fact admitting that there was a problem to begin with. Also, the BBC thinks that by trying to remove something, it will just go away. Well, it hasn’t, as you can see, we still have the video.

And by the way, for those who need to know, I am not a liberal snob as some may suggest. I am actually quite moderate. But when it comes to battling stereotypes and educating people about U.S. Latinos, I roll with the guys who like to expose ignorance.

As for Jerry Clarkson, would love to buy you a pint and tell you some real jokes.

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So I am going to follow the advice of TOP GEAR host Jeremy Clarkson and admit it: I need to loosen up, laugh a bit more, and just chill. I mean, everyone knows that the English love to make fun of themselves and other ethnic groups. It’s cool. There is no harm done. We are all want a good chuckle.

Yes, Jeremy, you are right. I was so wrong. Yes, I agree, you were not being vindictive. It was all in the name of three lads having fun, even if Australia TV won’t show your segment on the air. And that last joke you made in your column? You know, this one?

Why doesn’t Mexico have an Olympic team? It’s because everyone there who can run, jump or swim is already across the border.

That joke won’t have consequences. Chuckle a bit, lighten up, and have a giggle, I say.

So, yes, we won’t worry about it. We will have a good jolly laugh over a pint of warm ale. Won’t won’t worry about Smuggle Truck, the new iPhone app that smuggles immigrants across the border and earns you Green Card points. This is all innocent fun.

Nor will we worry about BORDER PORTAL, another great and fun game that you can play to kill illegal Mexicans over the border, you’re right, this is all in the name of humor.

And we will definitely not worry about the following victims who have died because of the whole immigration mess in the United States, because as you say, when you need a good laugh, just tell a couple of Mexican jokes. It won’t encourage more ignorance and resentment, everyone will just laugh. So, yes, we will not be talking about the following people:


Luis Ramírez:  Killed in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania for walking down the street with a white woman.


Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhañay: Beaten to death with a baseball bat in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Marcelo Lucero: Stabbed to death in Patchogue, N.Y.



The two suspects who beat Samuel Baez-Rosa to death

Samuel Baez-Rosa: Beaten to death in Hamilton, Ohio

Juan Varela: Shot to death in Phoenix, Arizona in a drive by incident


Martin Rayez: Beaten to death in Baltimore, Maryland


Brisenia Flores: Nine-year-old shot to death in a home invasion in Arizona by a three assailants with ties to a vigilante border group


We will just keep laughing, as you suggest, Jeremy. You are so right with that. Let’s forget about the tragedies that have occurred in the United States all because of the ignorance surrounding Latinos. No offense, Jeremy, right?

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