Viewers complained about Clarkson’s remarks and actions on the Christmas special of Top Gear, which aired on Wednesday night, in which he was seen taking off his trousers in front of “bemused” Indian dignitaries.
The incident occurred when Jeremy was demonstrating how a trouser press worked – and while joking that the implement could be used to heat naan bread – and he added insult to apparent injury by joking about India’s toilets, their trains and the country’s history.
The Daily Star states of his many faux pas in the show, “He ridiculed the country’s toilet facilities by driving around slums in a Jaguar fitted with a toilet…
“As he showed off the car loo, he laughed: ‘This is perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots’.”
However, a BBC spokeswoman last night said they had so far received only eight complaints from viewers, who accused Jeremy of racism.
The spokeswoman added, “If viewers or religious groups want to complain, they can complain to the BBC.
“We won’t be responding through the media.”
But via various social networking sites, viewers branded Jeremy a “Nazi” and slammed the show for promoting “casual racism”.
In one segment of the show, Jeremy, along with co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond, apparently ridiculed India’s network of elderly trains when they opened the doors of moving carriages and leaned outside.
The troublesome trio then made two banners to “promote Brit industry” which they displayed on the trains.
One read, “British IT is good for your company”, and the other, “Eat English Muffins.”
The paper adds, “But the messages turned rude when the carriages split.”
This edition of Top Gear was shown two days after the horrific Boxing Day murder of Indian student Anuj Bidve in Salford, Manchester, and it seems that that sad and terrible event has made what Jeremy and the other Top Gear presenters said and did even more offensive than it might ordinarily have been, given that Anuj’s death is currently being treated as a suspected racially motivated one.
But – the dreadful tragedy of Anuj’s death aside – I must ask, yet again; are viewers overreacting to what Jeremy has said and done, or is he deliberately being provocative and/or ignorant?