I wrote yesterday on Facebook a summary of my feelings towards this whole thing about Jeremy Clarkson allegedly being racist. If you’ve managed to evade the debacle (frankly, I envy you) here it is:
Over two years ago, this clip was recorded, but put aside as an outtake. It was never broadcast.
It’s just barely audible, but the Top Gear presenter decided between two cars, and says:
“Eenie, meanie, minie, mo, catchanzuzuzudistoe, if it squeals, let him go, eenie, meanie, minie mo!”
At first I was ready to jump in and defend ole’ Clarky, citing his mumbles as misunderstood. In fact, I still am. The fact that there is an ‘n’ sound in the mumble does not symbolise the word in question. If you look at the comments on the YouTube video (never a brilliant idea, but still) you will find just how many thousands of people share my opinion. There have been over half a million (at the time of writing this) views of the video I just showed you since it was uploaded on April 30th, 2014. The likes bar speaks for itself, with the measly 500 likes outnumbered 5-to-1 by those who dislike it.
However, the following day, Jeremy himself uploaded this:
<a href=”http://twitpic.com/e2mc8b” title=”this is my statement. on Twitpic”><img src=”http://twitpic.com/show/thumb/e2mc8b.mp4″ width=”150″ height=”150″ alt=”this is my statement. on Twitpic”></a>
So, is Clarkson now admitting he said ‘N*gger’? If so, it appears he didn’t mean to. He didn’t mean to say it, and even if he did, you can barely hear it. And even if you can, this was an outtake, never meant for air. Talk about clutching at straws, The Mirror…
I suppose my first question is: Why is this NOW a problem? Why does one slurred, out-of-context, hard-to-hear accidental use of the word lead to such controversy? And actually, who is even outraged by this? It seems to be that almost everyone in the land has my opinion, yet the Newspapers and TV channels are able to blow things out of proportion by 9001% because, well, British Press.
Maybe newspaper sales are down and the Editors want to increase readership.
But still, it’s two years since the clip came out, so it strikes me as very odd that it’s only just now becoming a story. I mean, it’s Jeremy Clarkson, right? One of the most controversial men in broadcasting and journalism – what newspaper wouldn’t want to nab him in this story? It’s hard to see why the newspapers are hypothetically surprised if this was even a credible story, Clarkson is a man who has offended the Mexicans, Albanians, Chinese and countless other peoples in the past. Part of me really wishes he didn’t have to apologise this time, though.
There are countless rap ‘artists’ flinging the ‘n*gger’ word around too, but apparently, there’s a rule that makes it okay for persons of African descent to say it or something. That’s cool…
Excuse me for going all ‘big picture’ for a second, but why is a deleted scene from a TV program gaining more critical awareness than, say, racism in sport? There are dozens of bigoted idiots in football who would not shy away from attacking a player based on his skin colour. Even some players still do it (I’m looking at you Luis Suarez and John Terry) and this story is quite coincidental in its timing, to follow from Donald Sterling’s disgusting comments last week, where he told his Mexican girlfriend not to publicly associate with Black people. That’s 10 minutes long, by the way.
It’s quite sad that we live in a world where one mumbled word is more offensive to us than poverty and climate change, but that’s what the ‘papers are going for right now. The Mirror were the first to publicise the comment first, adorning their front page with the ever so subtle and delicately put ‘CLARKSON’S N-WORD SHAME’ only to follow it the next day with ‘I BEG YOUR FORGIVENESS’ and a still from the video with the Englishman staring right at the reader. Whatever namesake mirror the newspaper was named for, it must be a magic one that completely makes up events.
Clarkson has now been given a reprimand by the BBC, who have sat on the fence during the matter, so much so that that they’re probably still picking splinters out of their bum. Don’t they want to defend their own man?
Anyway, Jezza, we know it was a slip of the tongue and we still love you, even if you are a bit eccentric.