The Clarkson clip: Controversy or over hyped?

Jeremy Clarkson made the headlines again this week, after The Mirror reported that the Top Gear presenter had used the racially offensive ‘n-word’ while reciting the tradi

Jeremy Clarkson made the headlines again this week, after The Mirror reported that the Top Gear presenter had used the racially offensive ‘n-word’ while reciting the traditional version of the nursery rhyme ‘Eeny Meeny’ for his show several years ago.

Video evidence emerged of him reciting the rhyme, where he seems to mumble the word. Clarkson issued a video apology last night, begging for forgiveness and denouncing the word. Although he seems sincere, many people are still calling for him to lose his job, in light of the fact that he has a bad track record for other offensive material.

Catch a tiger by the toe

Clarkson initially denied the claims released by The Mirror, telling his Twitter followers that the paper ‘has gone way too far this time.’ The Mirror then responded by releasing the video, which was never broadcast on the BBC2 programme, but seems to show Clarkson reciting the poem and mumbling the ‘n-word’ in place of the word ‘tiger,’ which we use now.

It’s not clear from watching the video whether or not he actually said the word, but he does mumble something close to it. The BBC quickly received over 300 complaints about the subject.

Begging for forgiveness

Clarkson released this video, admitting that he had watched the clip back and it did seem that he said the word, although he remained adamant that he had done his best to cover it up. Clarkson begged for forgiveness from anyone who was offended by hearing the sound of the word, saying ‘it is a word I loathe.’

Boot him out of the BBC?

But, regardless of his apology, many people and celebrities are still calling for Clarkson to lose his job, as this is only the most recent of a long line of complaints against the presenter.

Labour MP Jim Sheridan was firm in his belief for Clarkson to be sacked, saying he had already ‘insulted nations’ and that his ability to apologise was no longer good enough. The ITV morning show Loose Women ran a piece May 2, in which almost all the panel were united in their belief that Clarkson is too offensive, and no longer good for the BBC.

Mountains out of mole hills

But, really, isn’t this taking everything a little too far? Clarkson seems to be apologising for something that he genuinely didn’t do, but also something that wasn’t entirely his fault.

We should really be asking why Top Gear issued a script with the offensive version of the nursery rhyme in the first place, as the whole piece was going to be part of the show. Clarkson was also able to provide production notes from the script, where he questions the use of the word and asks for another take so he can cover it up better.

Admittedly, Clarkson has had some incidents in the past, but as chairman of the BBC, Sir Christopher Bland said he is only guilty in being ‘sloppy in his use of language.’

Not only does the video show Clarkson’s attempt to cover up the word, he has profusely apologised for any offence caused. In the end, he was reading from a script and this was also several years ago.

Surely the people who leaked the video to the paper should be equally blamed for an attempt to attack Clarkson, and bring down his career.

What do you think? Is Clarkson a racist who has gone too far this time? Or is The Mirror making more of this than necessary, and not acknowledging the true facts of the incident? Have your say in the comments section below.