Jeremy Clarkson and the Unnecessary Outrage

Noorulann Shahid

On Wednesday 30th November, the whole of the social networking community went up in arms regarding Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s comments on the BBC’s “The One Show” regarding the public sector strikes.

If you missed the uproar, here is a clip of what he said:

I should warn you that whilst I am an avid Top Gear fan, I think Jeremy tries too hard at times to be funny and say controversial things to hit the headlines. To me, the outrage was basically a case of much ado about nothing. The public reaction was completely exaggerated- it’s fair enough that people want to rant about it on Twitter, but for statements from political parties and threats of legal action to be triggered is a step too far. The BBC has received an unprecedented 21,000 complaints regarding his comments, a number which is rising by the minute.

Both Clarkson and the BBC have insisted the remarks were taken out of context. Clarkson said in a statement on Thursday night: “I didn’t for a moment intend these remarks to be taken seriously – as I believe is clear if they’re seen in context. If the BBC and I have caused any offence, I’m quite happy to apologise for it alongside them.”

Clarkson has since apologised for his comments.

The presenter told the Daily Mirror: “I support the strikers in the first part. I said it was like being in the 1970s, my favourite decade. Then I said, but this is the BBC so we have to be impartial, and I expressed an extreme version of the other side of the coin, neither of which I believe.

“I expressed two different views. Which one do I apologise for? I am just making fun of the BBC’s need to be impartial. Not about strikers. I wasn’t saying that strikers should be shot.”

Let’s assess the situation: who is Jeremy Clarkson anyway? He is a broadcaster and presenter- and is notorious for his lewd comments- he has previously hit the headlines for comments regarding lorry drivers and prostitutes. I for one do not take him seriously- so why did thousands of others take so much heed to his comments? Perhaps tensions were running high on the day of the strike, perhaps his comments were taken out of context- only if you saw the clip would you be able to recognise that he was joking, or perhaps, most concerning of all, the Great British public have lost their sense of humour.


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