Jeremy Clarkson racism claims: Ofcom launches investigation into 'slope' comment

The Top Gear host faces even further troubles

Ofcom is now officially investigating a recent episode of Top Gear, in which Jeremy Clarkson was accused of racism.

The presenter used a derogatory term used to describe those of Asian descent during the Burma Special which aired on BBC2 in March.

The BBC later apologised, but Ofcom is now examining whether or not the comment violated its “content standards”.

If the show is found to have breached rules, the regulator can impose sanctions, from a correction or statement to a fine of up to £250,000.

The contentious comment took place after the Top Gear hosts built a bridge over the River Kwai on the border of Thailand and Burma.

 

Clarkson commented on the structure: “That is a proud moment. But there's a slope on it” – just as an Asian man walked over the bridge.

The comment caused a backlash from viewers, many of whom called for Clarkson to be sacked. The BBC apologised for the incident, describing it as “a light-hearted wordplay joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it”.

“We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word 'slope' is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA,” said Top Gear producer Andy Wilman.

”If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused.“

Last week, Clarkson was again accused of racism following the release of an unaired clip from Top Gear.

In the video, the presenter is seen to mutter the word 'n****r' while reciting a children’s nursery rhyme 'Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe' to decide between two cars.

The BBC reprimanded the 54-year-old, telling him that if he makes “one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked”. He issued a grovelling video clip, in which he begged for forgiveness.

His personal life is also reportedly suffering. Clarkson’s wife and manager, Frances Clarkson, is said to be divorcing him, following a string of infidelity rumours, of which he has stringently denied.

She has declined to comment on the reports, but his former wife Alex Hall yesterday commented that the presenter’s current spouse deserves “every penny she gets”.

Read more: Is this the end for Jeremy Clarkson?
CLARKSON CALLS HIS BLACK DOG DIDIER DOGBA
Watch: Clarkson beg for forgiveness over racism claims
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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 People

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past