UPDATE: U.K. gender equality charity The Fawcett Society, one of the two complainants who have prompted an investigation by media watchdog IPSO into Jeremy Clarkson’s Meghan Markle column in The Sun, have said that the “Grand Tour” presenter’s “misogynistic and racist” views have helped to normalize violence, hate and harassment against women.
In response to a question by Variety about the charity’s motivations for the complaint, Fawcett Society CEO Jemima Olchawski said in a statement: “Following our complaint, we welcome the IPSO investigation. Of course, the comments were deeply offensive but it goes beyond that. Clarkson’s misogynistic and racist views appeared in one of our biggest national newspapers, they will have been seen and sanctioned by experienced journalists before they were published in the Sun. It is this endorsement of these toxic views that is also extremely troubling.
“Sexism, racism, and misogyny have no place in our society. In the U.K. one woman is murdered every three days by a man; women and girls experience violence, hate, and harassment at the hands of men – and it’s views like Clarkson’s that play a huge part in normalising this,” continued Olchawski.
“Misogyny should be a hate crime and those who peddle hate called to account.”
EARLIER: Jeremy Clarkson’s vitriolic Meghan Markle column in The Sun is being formally investigated by the U.K.’s media watchdog following two group complaints.
IPSO, the Independent Press Standards Organization, has confirmed that it’s launched an investigation into Clarkson’s article, which was published by the British tabloid on Dec. 17. The article was headlined “One day, Harold the glove puppet will tell the truth about A Woman Talking B*ks.”
IPSO said in a statement: “We are taking forward complaints from two groups, The Fawcett Society and The Wilde Foundation, who said they were affected by breaches of Clause 1 (Accuracy), Clause 3 (Harassment) and Clause 12 (Discrimination) in the article.”
The Fawcett Society is a U.K. charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, while the Wilde Foundation provides specialist training to grow awareness of domestic abuse and its impact on women and girls.
IPSO said it will release the outcome of its investigation when it is concluded.
In total, IPSO received more than 25,100 complaints from the British public about Clarkson’s column — an astonishing figure that broke the record for the most complaints ever received by the org for an article.
In the column, the “Grand Tour” presenter wrote of Markle: “I hate her. Not like I hate [Scottish National Party leader] Nicola Sturgeon or [British serial killer] Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.”
He continued, referencing an infamous “Game of Thrones” scene involving Lena Headey’s Cersei: “At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”
In the column, which Clarkson wrote weekly for The Sun, he also suggested that Prince Harry has no “control” over his actions anymore, largely thanks to Markle.
Clarkson has apologized twice for his words. In a brief apology posted to Twitter on Dec. 19, he said he had “rather put my foot in it.” On Jan. 16, he published a lengthier apology on his Instagram account. “I really am sorry. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head,” he wrote in a post that has since been deleted. “This is me putting my hands up. It’s a mea culpa with bells on.”
Last month, Variety revealed that Amazon Prime Video is set to part ways with Clarkson.
Sources told Variety that the streaming service won’t be working with Clarkson beyond seasons of “The Grand Tour” and “Clarkson’s Farm” that have already been commissioned.
Prime Video already has a number of shows in the works with Clarkson, which are going to go ahead, but the decision effectively means that “Clarkson’s Farm” will end with Season 3 (expected in 2024). It also means that motoring format “The Grand Tour,” one of Prime Video’s biggest shows, will also come to an end. Variety understands the series will conclude after four more special episodes — the last of which is expected to land in late 2024.
Season 2 of “Clarkson’s Farm” will release on Prime Video on Friday.