Broadcaster and present Jeremy Clarkson has hit back at criticism from the British singer Will Young.
Clarkson present motoring show The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime. Season three of the show is currently being released on the platform. In one episode, Clarkson and co-presenter Richard Hammond mock a 4×4 Jeep Wrangler as a ‘gay’ vehicle and and ‘LGB-Jeep.’
He also makes fun of the LGBTI acronym, saying: ‘What is it? Lesbian, bacon, transgender…?’
After Clarkson rides the car, Hammond jokes: ‘You should have gone the whole hog… maybe some nice chaps, suede but ventilated at the back.
The comments prompted criticism from Young on Twitter last week.
‘You can be honest and funny without this ridiculous “lad” ooh being gay and let’s laugh about it mentality.
‘It’s repulsive and how DARE you do it and put it out [Amazon Prime].’
He went on: ‘It’s fucking pathetic and actually homophobic.’
In his weekend column in Britain’s Sun newspaper, Clarkson responded to the criticism. He said that he liked Will Young (a previous guest on Clarkson’s former show, Top Gear).
‘I LIKE Will Young. We got on so well in fact he even recorded a short and very funny film for my 50th birthday party.
‘But this week, he went berserk on Twitter, saying that I’d been homophobic in the most recent episode of The Grand Tour.
‘And that he was going to not stop from his ceaseless quest for justice.’
According to Clarkson, other gay people he’d heard from hadn’t expressed any problem with the show.
‘None of my leftie friends could either. One even said I should tell him to stop being so gay.
‘I won’t do that though.’
‘And nor will I suggest, once again, that mobile phones should be fitted with breathalysers to stop people drinking and tweeting.
‘No. Instead, I will apologise to Will for causing him some upset and reassure him that I know I’m not homophobic as I very much enjoy watching lesbians on the internet.’
Young has not responded to Clarkson’s ‘apology’.
Among those to defend Clarkson was Grand Tour pro-driver Abbie Eaton.
A pro-racer on the show, Eaton shared a photo of herself kissing her girlfriend whilst on a skiing holiday in the Alps. Eaton was responding to a tweet calling Will Young ‘offensive.’
She tweeted, ‘It’s so homophobic they’ve even got a gay as their driver… 😂🤷🏻♀’
Many others have supported Will Young’s stance.
Jeff Ingold, of LGBT rights charity Stonewall, told Pride Radio that Clarkson and Hammond might want to talk to the organization.
‘We are always up for talking. If someone like Jeremy Clarkson or Richard Hammond want to come to us and have a conversation about what they said and learn … but they’d have to show an ability to learn what was wrong and move forward from that.’