Jeremy Clarkson breaches BBC guidelines by comparing Toyota Prius campervan to Elephant Man

 

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson breached BBC guidelines by comparing a Japanese car to people with growths on their faces.

A report by the the BBC Trust's editorial standards committee (ESC) found he "strayed into an offensive stereotypical assumption" with the scripted remarks during an episode of the hit motoring show,

A member of the public complained about the "offensive" remarks after Clarkson likened the shape of a Prius campervan to someone with "a growth on their face" and referred to it as the "elephant car".

He also described it as "not a car that you could talk to at a party unless you were looking at something else".

The ESC said the show's audience enjoyed the presenters' "sometimes controversial and forthright views" but ruled this remark "played on a stereotypically negative reaction to facial disfigurement".

It said it "strayed into an offensive stereotypical assumption" and was "not editorially justified".

The report stated: "The committee accepted that the remark was exaggerated for comic effect, but believed that some viewers may find this particular remark, taken within the whole context of the exchange, to be a purposeless stereotype.

"The committee concluded that this programme was in breach of the guidelines on harm and offence as the exchanges about facial disfigurement were not editorially justified and did not meet generally accepted standards in the context of their portrayal of a disability."

It upheld the complaint.

Clarkson was cleared by Ofcom earlier this year of breaching the broadcasting code by watchdog Ofcom over the same remarks.

It is not the first time he has talked himself into trouble.

He was recently criticised by mental health charities after he branded people who throw themselves under trains as "selfish".

That came after he was forced to apologise for telling BBC1's The One Show that striking workers should be shot.

Top Gear has seen more than its share of controversy. Earlier this year Indian diplomats complained about a special edition of the programme filmed in the country.

The 90-minute India special included a car fitted with a toilet in the boot which Clarkson said was "perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots".

The BBC was forced to apologise to the Mexican ambassador last year after remarks made by Clarkson and co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map