We are told that the cringingly-subservient (to the right people, that is) BBC has apologised to the Mexican Ambassador, and through him of course to the Mexican people for ‘jokes made on national stereoptypes’ made during the Top Gear programme. Apparently, reference was made by the programme presenters that “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. The presenters then described Mexican food as “refried sick”.
The humour, or the alleged humour, contained within Top Gear, is an acquired taste, unpalatable to some, hilarious to others. The viewer, knowing the proclivities of Clarkson and Hammond for off-colour and tasteless jokes, has the ultimate choice whether to watch or not by the twitch of a remote control, and therefore knows what he or she will be seeing; and I for one would not dream of censoring, or even commenting upon their alleged ‘sense of humour’.
But would the BBC have apologised so profusely if the Top Gear team had commented upon the following items?
It is true that I cannot imagine humour being applied to a single story of death, murder or corruption on a scale which threatens the very essemce of the Mexican State, but equally to reprove a trio of entertainers whose show is massively popular for stereotypical comments of another nation is going perhaps farther than the BBC should have done.