Feeds

BBC apologises for Top Gear outrage

'No vindictiveness' behind cheap Mexican jibes

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The BBC has apologised for its trio of laddish Top Gear presenters who managed to offend the whole of Mexico with some hilarious racial stereotyping.

As we previously reported, during a studio discussion of the comparative merits of sports cars from Germany, Italy and Mexico, jet car pilot par excellence Richard Hammond suggested these vehicles reflect the national characteristics of their makers.

The Mexican offering was, therefore, "a lazy, feckless and flatulent oaf with a mustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat".

James May then described Mexican food as "like sick with cheese on it", while Jezza Clarkson suggested there wouldn't be any complaints about their banter because "the ambassador is going to be sitting there with a remote control, snoring".

Cue an official letter of complaint from Mexico's ambassador to Britain, Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, describing the remarks as "offensive, xenophobic and humiliating", threatened legal action under the UK's Equality Act, hundreds of protests via the Beeb's BBC Spanish-language website BBC Mundo, and demands for an apology from a group of British MPs, who classified the jibes as "ignorant, derogatory and racist".

The BBC has now obliged, with a statement which concedes that while the remarks were "rude" and "mischievous", there was "no vindictiveness" behind them.

The Corporation continues: "Our own comedians make jokes about the British being terrible cooks and terrible romantics, and we in turn make jokes about the Italians being disorganised and over dramatic, the French being arrogant and the Germans being over-organised."

It adds that "stereotype-based comedy was allowed within BBC guidelines in programmes where the audience knew they could expect it, as was the case with Top Gear".

The apology concludes: "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."

Indeed, said executive producer apologised personally to señor Medina-Mora Icaza, and we look forward to seeing that meeting on Top Gear in due course, complete with witty commentary from Clarkson, Hammond and May. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Useless computer engineer Barbie sacked after three-way fscking
Tale of two lads and wannabe game dev makes for great management material
Microsoft to bring back beloved 1990s super-hit BATTLETOADS!?*
* Or maybe not. It is just a trademark filing, after all
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.