President Obama to be Asked to Block BBC Show ‘Top Gear’ That Allegedly Used Racist Term

President Obama be Asked Block BBC
Neil P. Mockford/FilmMagic

LONDON — President Obama has been asked to consider blocking broadcast in the U.S. of BBC motoring show “Top Gear” after its star, Jeremy Clarkson, was accused of allegedly using racist language.

A firm of lawyers, Equal Justice, is to write to Obama and the ambassadors of more than 200 countries in which “Top Gear” airs to ask them to consider the evidence, and then decide if the series should continue to be broadcast in their countries, the Guardian has reported.

The firm was referring to footage from the show in which the nursery rhyme “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” was recited, and in which it has been alleged the n-word was used. The footage was not broadcast, but the Daily Mirror has put the footage on its website. Clarkson claims he mumbled something that sounds like the offending word, but not the word itself.

Lawrence Davies, director of Equal Justice, said: “Clarkson claimed he ‘did everything in my power to make sure that that version did not appear in the program that was transmitted’ … The obvious thing that any non-racist would have done is to not use the rhyme at all or failing that to simply substitute another word such as ‘tiger’ in the take. There was never any need to mumble the N-word repeatedly.”

Davies added that the BBC should have sacked Clarkson and his team for alleged “gross misconduct,” but won’t because “they are making money out of the show.”

It is not the first time the show has been accused of using racist language.

Equal Justice repped Indian-born actress Somi Guha when she filed a complaint to the BBC about “Top Gear” after Clarkson used the word “slope” when referring to an Asian man.

The firm also repped Iris de la Torre, who complained about the use of racial stereotypes in an episode about Mexican vehicles.

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  1. Richard Burton says:

    Obama has more important issues to handle then banning a TV show.
    #1 would be to actually act like a “real president” and not the “appeasement president” position that he was picked to fill.
    Yes I said he was “picked” and yes I said he is an “appeasement president” in order to help quell the social inequalities we all are facing in America now.

    Slavery ended over 200 years ago and MY GENERATION OWES NOTHING TO ANYONE, so GET OVER YOURSELF and the “YOU OWE ME MENTALITY” !

    GET A JOB and EARN the respect you THINK your owed !

  2. Pete says:

    really? There’s a lot of allegedlys in this article. Yet they won’t ban futball where racism is rampant and factual but they’re willing to ban the single greatest car show…in the world. Clarkson has a track record of being and ass, but people are going to get uppity over something that may or may not have been mumbled…

  3. Bob Gilleg says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing of all time. I’m strongly against racism being a minority myself, but this is over the top. No one is going to take this seriously if they are just cropping it from the episode.. why would even waste your time with this crap. I have more faith in humanity on a whole than I should, but you guys are just making me shake my head.

  4. Bob O'Rourke says:

    The morons that want this show blocked by our government have no idea what the concept of freedom is. how could any intelligent person want to have a government be the sole arbiter of what he or she listens to or watches. Once a government has that power its people are no longer free. Look at North Korea, Cuba, etc.Is that what you want here?

  5. Nanny Mo says:

    It doesn’t matter if he did say it. We do NOT want the government blocking anything in the land of free speech. If we the people want to rise up and stop watching it, that’s how it must be stopped. It Washington starts saying what can and can’t be spoken in the “land of the free” we will be closer to Hitler’s Germany than we ever imagined.

  6. Robbie says:

    HE DIDN’T SAY IT!!! he never used THE WORD at all and jeremy clarkson has always been an ass but we britts love him.

  7. Tommy Burns says:

    If the character is racist, why can’t he use racist language. SMH, I’m Black and if it makes sense to the character then there is no problem. These are characters not real people!

  8. joe says:

    what the hell happened to free speech.

  9. Greg Harding says:

    I used to be a huge Top gear fan then Jeremy Clarkson starte3d acting like a real A88h0le being rude to the general public ruining peoples cars with their experimental cars even purposefully, causing mayhem and using bad language whenever the mood took him. I’m sorry but he’s head has gotten to big for the show, he should exit stage left.

  10. UtterNonsense says:

    I can’t believe that this is even NEWS. We have become so enamored by so called celebrities that most Americans don’t even pay attention to what is going on in their own homes much less the world. If you truly want to make a difference? Start in your own community, teach your children respect and be respectful yourself. Stop putting CELEBRITIES on a pedestal that you can’t even maintain.

    Pull up your panties, stop crying and go do something productive with your life…..

  11. Freebird says:

    This is such stupid BS!

    I grew up using, and hearing that same exact nursery rhyme for years. So what if it has the ‘N’ word in it. That doesn’t mean it was not common, and accepted by society for years. You cannot erase history.

    I can’t help but think of another nursery rhyme of that time that was commonly used. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That is what I thought when others used racial slurs against me during my childhood … (Spansih/Cuban/Spic/Florida Cracker/white trash/redneck.

    It worked for me. Seems those offended by the ‘N’ word today could do the same,

  12. Peter says:

    If anyone wants the show banned for saying that, which they never even aired, and no proof is had that he actually said the word, then go watch American TV. There are shows much worse that you could debate all day about, how about Family Guy, or South Park? Its just TV, get over it.

  13. Pharo says:

    N-word? What N-word? Nonce? Ninny? If you’re going to report on “important” issues, you bloody well say the word so that we know that the hell you’re talking about. Don’t assume that we’ll know what you are talking about when you obfuscate or otherwise censor words. That’s flawed logic and bad journalism.

  14. Levi says:

    Dear god, can stupid stories like this stop gaining popularity in the media? Grow up America, the rest of the world looks down on you.

  15. Ramonet says:

    Overeager zealots trying to make themselves a name out some unintelligible mumbled words that never aired. Boy, we live in idiotic times…

  16. yannick guillemot says:

    um, not to burst anyone’s bubble here, but it sounds more like he was lazily saying it. Listen carfully to how he says catch (i heard hatch) note that they both end the same way,
    tiger ends in “ger” as well, and in know quite a few people that say tiger (as in Pooh’s friend) and “t-eye-ger” so confusion could very well be a factor in this.

  17. Callum says:

    Racism is based on the culture of a country, and as such racist terms are also based on that countries culture. Many terms which are consider racist in the U.S. are considered normal, or just ‘rude’ language in other countries. To block a show for using a term which you consider racist is racist in itself, as you are denying other cultures to use their dialect. I find that ironic.

  18. Jeremy says:

    All of our other problems have been worked out and the greatest issue facing the president now is one word mumbled on a British car show. Guess that means we’re in good shape.

  19. BillnAz says:

    Rap, comedians and movies can use the N-word with impunity. Intent and interpretation. I do not believe his intent was to offend. The interpretation certainly follows an agenda. Great show and well worth watching. Funny and informative.

    • Realist says:

      The funny thing is he didn’t even say it. Only a few people with specialist equipment turned up to deafening volumes MAY have heard something. Anything else is gross overreactions, and people should be ashamed – and other people should lose their jobs.

  20. Take away my Top Gear and we will have problems.

  21. Maluka says:

    Oh grow up. The man is British.

  22. patriot says:

    censorship in NEVER a good idea!

    I may completely agree with what the person is saying,
    but I will defend to the death his right to say it

  23. wildcat1100 says:

    I don’t know what should happen with Clarkson, but there is no debating that he said the n-word. It is clear and audible. He did not censor it, here merely lowered his voice during the racist part. You don’t get the benefit of the doubt by lowering your voice when saying something racist. If anything, he mumbled the words before the n-word, but not the n-word itself. I’ve never heard the racist version of Eeny, meeny, miny, moe before today, but even if I did, I would never say it like that. I’m sure Clarkson knows the tame version (catch a tiger by his toe). He chose to say the n-word. Absolutely awful that people are defending him. What’s so great about this guy that people would justify or condone racist language? (It also appears that this is not his first or even second or third racist controversy.)

    • Realist says:

      There were THREE takes. on TWO of them, he mumbled the word. Off-air. No one heard it except very few, and it was leaked and blown out of proportion for media profit. Also, anyone offended by it may think they have extra rights for being offended at one person’s mumbled word. It doesn’t – it just makes people look pathetic.
      Absolutely awful people are scapegoating him – and people like you should be ashamed.

  24. Adam says:

    This is actually ridiculous. I seriously thought I was reading an article from the Onion. Ban Top Gear because a man recites a racist poem, in which he deliberately censors the racist bit? What’s next book burning of Huck Finn?

    Come on.

  25. Tim says:

    Watch the show with Brian Cox who is so freaking racist you can’t imagine….its very telling what these boys thinks of America and Black people in general. Brian Cox you think you can get away with your foul comments…America made you who you are baby!

  26. Mike says:

    Don’t block the show: it’s great.

  27. Wonko the Sane says:

    A laughable, self-serving enterprise by ambulance chasers looking for a bit of free publicity for their ambulance-chasing business. I’ve seen the video, and here’s the real poop:

    1) He doesn’t actually say the “n-word.” It sounds-like it, but he’s clearly trying to mumble-over an inappropriate traditional version of a nursery-rhyme.
    2) The video where he mumbled something that sounds offensive but wasn’t the word never actually aired–ever–until it was leaked years after the fact.
    3) The man has made a quite-plausible explanation of the sitaution.
    4) (Most importantly) In the United States your hurt feelings and/or bunched panties don’t justify censorship of a television program just because you don’t like something one of the hosts didn’t-actually-say on an out-take from years before that never actually aired.

  28. OMG….is there ANYBODY out there that has NOT had their feelings hurt sometime????

  29. RubixTube says:

    If I might add, they’re trying to get the President of the United States to censor a BRITISH TV show. Because we all know America holds that sort of power.

  30. SOOOOOOOOOO, then, this “Equal Justice” group of shysters has never actually set foot in or HEARD OF the USA, before, I take it. They’re actually asking the President of the United States of America to CENSOR a TV production on the basis of a racial/politically charged word?

  31. Ken says:

    Ya, our first amendment is about free speech, not overly-sensitive people offended by rhymes and limericks written a hundred years ago. Heck, in school, most of us learned it with the word Tiger, and didn’t even know the history of it until later. Either way, we don’t censor speech… we just spy on it…that’s the American way.

  32. rodvmunchiii says:

    Block a TV show? I don’t think so. I’m not an Obama supporter in the least bit and this nonsense is not worthy of a presidential response, hopefully Obama will not even address this idiocy.

    • Paul Masterson says:

      COme on Rod, this could be a “teachable moment.” Remember, the good professor, who had the audacity to not answer a police officer investigating a “probable break in.” I truly love it when the glorious leader can sit down with us, the great unwashed masses and explain to us how misguided we are and that we whould be so haapy to have a leader so enlightened. Oops, I think I just threw up in my mouth.

    • I don’t know…Barry may feel compelled to launch a “Twitter” campaign against it…

  33. Donny says:

    Bullshit..Now it’s come down to asking a President of a country to ban a TV show..really?Who is demanding this anyway? When are these people going to become aware of Free Speech,it’s this mans opinion which he is entitled to. If you don’t like him or the show,don’t watch it,don’t try and punish everybody for one persons mistake. Are we still in Kindergarten?

  34. LostProphyt says:

    Yeah, won’t happen. Top Gear UK is awesome (the American one sucks). Everyone’s entitled to a screw-up every now and then, even Jeremy Clarkson.

  35. John says:

    What does this situation have to do with the First Amendment … of the US Constitution? Clarkson is free to express himself and the TV companies are free to express themselves (i.e. to hire whom they choose). (Of course — don’t know that he used a racist expression at all.)

  36. Phil Bolton says:

    These poor lawyers seem a bit confused about how the First Amendment works.

  37. Fred says:

    I suppose what really counts is an obscure actress was able to make a name for herself.

  38. P.T. Keenan says:

    All that effort is to accomlish what? What a wasteof time.

  39. Eric Godsey says:

    first off, i watched the clip several times to see if i could hear it — that little “rhyme” if you call it has been around forever….you learned it in pre-school, kindergarten – whatever….you always hear that racist version — little kids teach it to each other. my thought is he probably did say it growing up (and anyone in the 40’s on up who won’t admit to it, is lying), and he started mumbling because he caught himself as he was saying something from when he was a little kid….face it when you’re five or eight or even 12, you don’t realize it’s racist. Of course, if you say it in front of your mother, hopefully she’ll wash your mouth out with soap. Point is, there was plenty of racist sayings out there from before the 21st century — heck i even saw an episode of deep space nine the other day, from the 90’s and they used the “n” word (granted from an African American actor) — and in this instance, he quite obviously caught himself. Cut him some slack.

    That said – what makes this law firm think the President has the authority to ban the show? I can see the network here in the U.S. not wanting to broadcast that episode, or even that scene being cut out — but that’s as far as it should go. Nothing was actually said or muttered — but it is obvious he thought it — otherwise why would he be muttering. It doesn’t mean he was racist, i would argue that he probably isn’t because of the fact that he was muttering, and that he realized it wasn’t the right thing to say. If the President finds some loophole to ban the show, watch out, because there will be dangerous precedent set.

    • Dave says:

      The clip was actually from an out take what wasn’t ever broadcast anywhere. There is no episode to edit or not broadcast.

  40. Teri says:

    Clarkson has always been a stereotype of an English upper-class asshole. Top Gear is still a very entertaining show. Its about cars, not politics.

  41. jerseypal says:

    Here’s some information for Lawrence Davies and “Equal Justice”: The President of the United States doesn’t get to ban television shows or anything else he might disagree with in this country. Are these people really lawyers? Seems incredible.

  42. Rick Caird says:

    Maybe we can petition to have their bar cards revoked and then arrest them for lawyering without a license.

  43. elvischupacabra says:

    While you’re at it, ban all rap music for the same reason, except the word ‘allegedly’ does not apply.

  44. Gloomy harvester says:

    Will we also be banning Quentin Tarantino films?

  45. K Hathaway says:

    That’s the fun of Top Gear… They offend EVERYBODY at some point.

    • Paul Masterson says:

      Wrong K, I’m one of those uptight middle class white guys from the US that loves the show. Oh, wait, that’s right Clarkson does love to throw in the lovely stereotypes of Yanks. Dammit, I think he has offended everyone.

  46. BJ says:

    Then I guess we need to block “Family Guy”, Chris Rock, Jay-Z and all the rappers including those Obama had around him during the election, etc., etc., etc. I really think it’s funny how selective we’ve become in who we go after and who we leave alone! This is ridiculous.

  47. Even says:

    Dear lawyers for equal busybodies: Didn’t you graduate primary school? The President of the United States of America has no power to prohibit freedom of speech. You’d be better of asking him to use his INFLUENCE to ensure the language to which you are etcetera simply be pixelated out. Good luck, losers.

  48. Johhnie R says:

    I couldn’t hear it. All he did was recite a very old children’s rhyme that can be said with a number of things inserted in the “catch a (put word here) by the toe”. I’ve heard many things inserted in this place. As a child I didn’t learn what “nigger” meant until I was 9 years old. It was the word I learned this rhyme with originally. After that we substituted “tiger” for the racial slur. I believe he mumbles the entire phrase purposely so as not to say it. I remember Dick Gregory saying it was wrong to abolish this word from usage as it would deny the history of the word and it’s implications. People have tried to edit the word out of literature for a while now. They even tried to remove it from Mark Twain’s novels. If we learn anything from this it should be that revisionist history destroys any ability to learn from history. This legal firm is just grandstanding by using race to push their name to the forefront. Ignore them.

  49. Dennis says:

    I will say this till I am blue in the face, we have freedom of speech in the USA as a constitutional right. This right has very few limitations and this doesn’t qualify. We have no right to not be offended. If that was the case, we probably wouldn’t speak to each other for fear of offending somebody.
    To me, this always offended group of people may wish to join the rest of us down here before they fall from the top of their pedestal. Change the channel, do something else and stop digging around the editing room floor for things to be offended by all the time. Watch the news and focus on the true evil that is out there.
    Just imagine if the were made to watch Archie Bunker or Fred Sanford, there poor heads would explode.

  50. Dave says:

    I listened to the video on the Daily Mirror link, and I cannot hear him utter the n-word. He clearly purposely mutters something to AVOID saying it. Listen yourself– he doesn’t say it.
    I can’t believe that when you have thousands dying daily in Syria, young girls kidnapped by the hundreds in Africa, and millions of American struggling to find a job, that anyone would think this silly video should concern the U.S. President.

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