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Jeremy Clarkson: Overzealous Twit Or Problematic Arse?

Jeremy Clarkson. Ask almost any car enthusiast and his bumbling antics, along with his co-hosts are the reason that becoming an enthusiast was so easy.

From racing across the countryside in $3,000 bangers, to testing and ripping apart some of the most expensive (and ludicrous) cars ever made, Top Gear's moments of (seeming) genius mixed amongst hours of blathering idiocracy was a lighthearted and informative way to enjoy a shared passion.

However, while the antics of the 3 co-conspirators (Jeremy, James and Richard) are often looked upon with rose tinted glasses, Jeremy Clarkson has continued to find a way to irk and offend almost everyone he comes across.

So, is it right to let this horse-power fanatic run free or is it time to send a problematic arse (read: donkey) off to the glue factory?

As car enthusiasts, we may be eager to write this off as an old fuddy-duddy just running his mouth (being a boomer) but, before writing it all off as "just the way he was bought up," we should look at the history of his finest controversies.

Being born to an upper-middle class family, Jeremy's parents were hard workers. With his father being a travelling salesman, the Clarkson family started selling knock-off Paddington bear toys to help make ends meet.

After a chance meeting in an elevator, the creator of Paddington made the Clarksons the official manufacturer, and with their freshly acquired funds they decided to educate young Jeremy at a $100,000/year boarding school with classmates like Adrian Newey (of RedBull Formula1) and Andy Wilman (a future Top Gear producer).

From here on it seems to become a story of nepotism, classic white male privilege and constantly failing upwards. Suffering from some severe bullying he became the school nonce and was expelled for "smoking, drinking and being a general nuisance".

While most people would find being expelled to be a concern, Clarkson was apparently carefree and expected everything would fall into place eventually.

Starting out as a journalist at a local paper, he worked his way up to auto-corespondent and eventually onto the original version of Top Gear.

Being the kind of person to always speak his mind (no matter if it's appropriate or not), he was a refreshing perspective amongst the dribble of classic car shows and quickly was a crowd favourite; eventually leading to a number of VHS video specials and columns in the Sunday papers.

After the cancellation of old Top Gear, Clarkson and former classmate Mr. Wilman approached the BBC with the idea to revitalise the classic name and focus on the comedy of the 3 hosts bouncing off each other rather than the cars themselves.

However, even with a booming career, Clarkson has continually created controversy with almost every breath. From uncomfortable comments about the Korean company Hyundai and how the workers had "all eaten dog", to constant references to the German's being Nazi's and the obvious ogling of female guests that appeared on Top Gear in the early seasons, Clarkson and the BBC were forced to apologise over and over while consistently changing nothing.

Over 20 seasons later and with specials, book deals, a talk show, a stint hosting 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' and more, Clarkson managed to bring the whole series to an end with a childish tantrum in which he punched a producer in the face for not getting him a steak dinner.

Even though the BBC dropped him soon after, he soon picked up a new job hosting a new car program on Amazon prime and has since added a reality show about his personal farm.

Even with all of this, Clarkson has put his foot in it again with comments on Meghan Markle, comparing his hatred of her to serial killers.

While these recent comments seem to have been blown out of the water slightly (with some referring to his description of the shaming of Cersei in Game of Thrones as a "fantasization of sexual violence"), they were still inappropriate.

This is where the entire argument becomes difficult though. While it's true that Clarkson has repeatedly taken things to a disgusting and inappropriate level, does he deserve to be removed from his platform? While he has chosen to offend people over and over, we have struggled to find more than two incidents in which his actions actually caused harm to someone.

Not to dismiss the fact his words have incited hate and played on horrible stereotypes.

As far as we can tell, Clarkson probably should have been taken off the TV long ago however, do his comments just fall into the category of off colour jokes or is it more?

Is this just another indecent incident from a well loved man child?

Has he really done anything wrong this time?

Does it make any difference talking about it or is it just increasing his popularity by drawing attention to him?

Is Clarkson an overzealous twit or a problematic arse?


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