General News

Mexican ambassador complains over Top Gear

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Feb 02, 2011 | 4:00am EST

Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora was riled by comments made by hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May during an installment which was broadcast in the U.K. on Sunday (30Jan11).

During a section of the show, the presenters discussed a Mexican sports car and Hammond told viewers, "Why would you want a Mexican car? Because cars reflect national characteristics, don't they. 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."

Clarkson added, "That's why we won't get any complaints about this, because at the Mexican embassy the ambassador's going to be sitting there with a remote control like this (pretending to slump, snoring in a chair)."

The ambassador has now written to bosses at the BBC, demanding the presenters apologise for their "outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable insults".

He writes, "The presenters of the program (sic) resorted to outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable insults to stir bigoted feelings against the Mexican people, their culture as well as their official representative in the United Kingdom. These offensive, xenophobic and humiliating remarks serve only to reinforce negative stereotypes and perpetuate prejudice against Mexico and its people.

"Although casual banter is an essential component of the program's (sic) appeal, humour never justifies xenophobia. It is not a matter of taste but of basic principles."

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