Richard Hammond Admits ‘Regret’ Over Top Gear Mexican Joke

March 30, 2011 by  
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Richard Hammond has expressed regret over any ‘misunderstanding or upset’ caused by his comments about Mexicans on an episode of Top Gear , which caused outrage earlier this year.

Hammond, known as ‘The Hamster’ on the show, called Mexicans “lazy, feckless and flatulent”, along with other derogatory comments from co-presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

In an interview with Metro, Hammond said he was ‘intentionally being ridiculous’, adding: “I regret any misunderstanding or upset that was caused. It was clearly intended as a joke. I was trying to portray myself as actually believing the images of Mexicans I received from Westerns were accurate.”

Amongst thousands of complaints to the BBC, the Mexican Ambassador called the remarks ‘offensive, xenophobic and humiliating’, with comedian Steve Coogan lambasting the trio in a Guardian article for their lazy stereotyping.

The BBC however defended the comments in a public statement, declaring: “We are sorry if we have offended some people, but jokes centred on national stereotyping are a part of Top Gear’s humour, and indeed a robust part of our national humour… When we do it, we are being rude, yes, and mischievous, but there is no vindictiveness behind the comments.”

Joe says:

Andrew Lennon, if you and Hammond are real men, then go and repeat your remarks to a group of Mexicans.

Sam says:

Wow, and somehow Americans are always pigeonholed into being thought of as ignorant and uninformed.

Andrew lennon says:

There really is no need Hammond. If those beaners still can’t take a very funny (and quite accurate) joke then it’s their problem…

Benjamin says:

You’ve got NOTHING to apologise for Richard, simple as that. Keep up the great work on the show.

J. Moore says:

What a lame apology. An insult is an insult and a lame excuse is a lame excuse.

John Wellauer says:

Come on guys! This is beyond ridiculous. TG regularly makes jabs at the USA, and you don’t see our ambassador having a tizzy fit! Man up Mexico and take your licks like the rest of the world! I will offer this up, the ambassador’s actions probably did guarantee no more Mexican products geting exposure on TG! Way to go Mr. Ambassador, that’ll show ‘em!

Panda Singh says:

Oh give it a rest already! This is old news why is it still being hammered on about… Top Gear’s content is entertaining which is why it draws in a vast audience. If you don’t like it then don’t watch it and complain about every aspect of it which concerns you while laughing at others which doesn’t.