BBC apologise for Top Gear Mexican jokes

February 4, 2011 | by | 20 Comments

The BBC has apologised to the Mexican ambassador in London following comments made by Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

BBC apologise for Top Gear Mexican jokes

In the show, broadcast on Sunday night, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were discussing the new Mastretta sports car which hails from Mexico when Hammond said “cars reflect national characteristics.”

He then said: “Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.”

Mexican food was also described as “refried sick”.

The stereotypical jibes caused a huge fallout with Mexicans and the wider population taking to message boards to share their disgust at the comments.

And it ruffled the feathers of the Mexican ambassador in London who said the remarks were “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating” and contacted the BBC demanding an apology.

BBC apologise for Top Gear Mexican jokes

Following pressure, the BBC has issued an apology to the ambassador, Eduardo Medina Mora, but stressed there was no malice intended.

In a statement, the corporation said: “The show has explained they were making comic use of a stereotype – a practice with which regular viewers of Top Gear will be familiar.

“The presenters often make jokes about the perceived characteristics of various nationalities when talking about the cars made in those countries.

“It is something that has been done in the past with the French, the Germans, the Americans and the Italians, so Mexico was not singled out for special treatment in this case.

“Whilst it may appear offensive to those who have not watched the programme or who are unfamiliar with its humour, the executive producer has made it clear to the ambassador that that was absolutely not the show’s intention.”

Overblown or justified? Leave your opinions below

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Comments (20)

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  1. Mr_frosty says:

    get a sense of humour dringo

  2. Mr_frosty says:

    if you read it properly, it says it was hammond that made the remarks….

  3. Andrew says:

    So what do you think about Mr Clarkson taking offence at your comments about him?

    • Jg Tulloch says:

      The guy is a totally self centred ignoramous with no feelings for anyone else bar his own ego. When he is ridiculing all the countries that he has, I haven’t heard him ridicule England who’s car industry hasen’t been a glowing light over the years. It’s a good job that Scotland doesn’t have a car industry or he would have a field day with kilts and haggis etc,.

      • Kevin says:

        Eh? He’s constantly making fun out of British cities and certain British characteristics. He does even takes the piss more out of the Brits than he does the French!

  4. Tern says:

    shut your face you whining spic.

  5. Emmajane70 says:

    I don’t know why anyone watches these schoolboys anyway.

  6. RoB_68 says:

    It’s a comedy/entertainment TV show.
    Where’s the BBC’s famed sense of humor.
    And……if you don’t like what he’s saying, then turn the frickin’ channel.

  7. sparxz says:

    Using language like that just demeans yuo and your comment. Try to put comments up that dont just rant in language that would offend a squaddie.

  8. Phil Cain says:

    The fact is the BBC is bent on cashing in on this populist garbage no matter how much damage it does to the decent reputation of the BBC, and Britain with it. Generating PR by upsetting people is just part of the marketing strategy. Meanwhile, large chunks of the World Service are being axed.

    So much for the “apology”: “In a letter to Mexico’s ambassador in London, the BBC said it was sorry if it had offended some people, but said jokes based on national stereotyping were part of British national humour.” Ie, we’re sorry, but people offended by being characterised as “lazy, feckless [and] flatulent” are also stupid.

    What about the BBC upholding the proud comic tradition of the public pillory? Just tie Clarkson, Hammond and May to wooden posts for a few days and people who want to can pass by and throw excrement at them. Nobody really gets hurt and the precious fount of “British national humour” is preserved.

    I’m not sure the court is the best route to resolving this. It seem more a matter of manners and the BBC’s broadcasting priorities. It might be more realistic to hope the BBC will rethink its role as national broadcaster. Surely the commercial television sector is capable of delivering this kind of tosh?

  9. A Smith says:

    Haha love how everyone is getting so wound up by this. It was funny!! Top Gear is and will remain the best BBC programme and their biggest export to other countries. Deal with it and stop your whining!! 99.9% of people realise it was light hearted banter, anyone that thinks it’s any more needs to go away and not watch it if it’s that offensive!!!

  10. ebeyrent says:

    They repeatedly comment that all Americans are fat, and how they slather everything with cheese. To date, the American ambassador has not requested an apology…

  11. Chris Headon says:

    They don’t take the mickey out of the British Jg? Have you seen how many pianos they have dropped on Morris Marinas? They take the rise out of themselves and the British more than anyone. Do not take anything thay say as serious ever – they certainly don’t

  12. Guillermo_castano says:

    Before anything, let me say I’m Mexican.
    I like Top gear, and it’s dry humor its what makes it enjoyable.
    Seriously, no normal individual will consider stereotypes as been anything but a joke.
    Before the show aired, I did not knew Mexico build a sports car.
    The real, way to answer to Top Gear is to have them test it and get the results.

  13. Sailor says:

    Next time u review a German car, dwell on the gas aspect

    Then for a French one, how about having it slalom some fried frogs

    And so on and so forth till this Mexican loser gets a life

  14. bubbles says:

    god. ITS TOP GEAR they take the piss out of every nation, if you watched the show you would know that. I m not saying they are right, but they make fun of everything themselves, the show ,the producer ,americans ,french irish , everyone and anything . their jokers

  15. Wow, so on the show, they’ve mentioned how English cars would be big, round, pasty-coloured heaps with no power under the hood? That they’d run on cider and after a fill-up would instantly try to collide with the closest black car? That they would have interiors that reeked of fish and chips, curry, and beer, which is coincidentally the extent of British culinary invention (stealing concepts from the Spanish, the Indians and the Belgians). Have they also mentioned that English cars tend to fall into two categories – the rough and tumble 4×4, which is a joke and falls behind just about any comparable American model, or the dependable sedan, which tends to mince about on its airy-fairy wheels whinging about not being as cool as an Irish or Australian car?

    Would anybody like to add some more “good-natured ribbing” of an English “car”?

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