Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mexican diplomat to Top Gear: Apologize

“The (Mexican) ambassador is going to be siting there with the remote control going like this [snores and imitates sleeping]. They won’t complain. It’s fine”.
---Jeremy Clarkson
Unfortunately for you, Mr. Clarkson, they did complain.

Mexican ambassador to Britain, Eduardo Medina Mora Icaza, demanded a public apology from the presenters of British motoring series “Top Gear” due to “xenophobic" and "offensive" comments made on their latest program. “In a country that boasts of its tolerance…it is totally incomprehensible and unacceptable that the premiere broadcaster should allow three of its presenters to display their bigotry and ignorance by mocking the people and culture of our country with such vehemence,” wrote Mora Icaza in a letter that was sent on Tuesday.

Clarkson and co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond have yet to publicly reply to Mora Icaza though it’s been reported “the BBC received the letter and plans to respond to the ambassador directly.”

The “Top Gear” presenters have not been immune to criticism over allegedly offensive comments on topics like environmentalism and truckers. They have previously raised the ire of Romanians and Germans, the latter occurring when Clarkson made mocking Nazi references while reviewing a BMW car.

Judge for yourself by watching the following video of the controversial remarks on Mexico and deciding if it was good-natured fun or in terrible taste:

It’ll be interesting to see if Hammond will defend his claims that Mexican cars reflects the country’s “characteristics” of being “lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat." Perhaps the BBC will act much like in 2007 when the producers of an Australian reality show apologized for a “Mexican Night” challenge criticized as “offensive”.

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources- Bloomberg, The Guardian, The Latin Americanist, MSNBC, The Scotsman, The Register, El Universal


Anonymous said...

For any citizen of that culinary and cultural wasteland to make fun of Mexican culture and particularly Mexican food is very offensive. I've traveled a good part of the world and can tell you that the most vile and disgusting food I've ever been served was in England, without a doubt. After visiting England it's unclear to me exactly how they even consider themselves civilized, but the one thing that is never diminished is their inflated opinion of themselves. I for one don't find it particularly sad to see England going through hard times. Here was a country that found itself in possession of a fabulous endowment of petroleum and they pumped most of it out and sold it for under 20.00 dollars a barrel in a single generation,thus setting a new record for resource depletion. Now when it's selling for 90.00 dollars they can import some from Mexico, which by the way have managed to make it's resource last for generations. Perhaps when England finally hits bottom Mexico can buy the place, if the
Arabs will agree to sell that is!!

Mexfiles said...

Actually,Anonymous, the British USED to import quite a bit of Mexican oil... Mexican oil being the main fuel source for the Royal Navy at the start of the First World War, which made Mexican relations (during our Revolution) so critical to the Brits. Basically, the British hired their own warlord, Manuel Peláez, to safeguard their fields... which, of course, were nationalized in 1938 briefly leading to Britain breaking diplomatic relations.

Anonymous said...

Who ever posted the second comment, your being a hypocrit. Your now the person being xenophobic.

You now insult England as a nation because what 3 people said on a Programe?

Does this mean that the whole of Mexico are xenophobes against England.

Have you seen South park?
Have you seen Simpsons?
Have you seen Family Guy?

I dont see your country crying patheticaly about them programs having abit of fun at Mexico, strange that huh?

There is always a simple solution, if you dont like it do not watch it.

Also "inflated opinion"?
Thats just lol, It seems you have some insecurity problems, US has more of an opinion about themselves then we do. Your just an insecure, insignificant person that seems to think that England thinks of themselves high and mighty when they really dont.

But then again you wouldnt say anything about the US cos your just a pathetic little person and im afraid that does show on Mexico cos your country does not say anything about the US.

Cry more...

Anonymous said...

Take a freaking joke. There is NOTHING they said on Top Gear that is in any way more offensive to Mexico or Mexicans than their critiques of other cultures, or even their own! The French can't make cars, the Japanese make video game cars, Americans make fat, gas guzzling beasts (kinda like their people, tehehe), and Mexicans, um, well, I guess they built the VW beetle for a while.

Gosh, what a bunch of cry babies. Get the over yourselves, you don't deserve an apology, get a show like top gear and hit 'em back!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't know what they say about Mexico on South Park, Simpsons or Family Guy Because I don't watch any American television but having said that,I may be a little too sensitive, it's just there's a lot of irony(and i'm not talking about the stuff they make steel from)in a sh-t eater making fun of another countries food. so since we agree that ethnic slurs are nothing to get upset about here's some you're bound to enjoy. Why did the British vote for Maggie Thatcher? They thought they were voting for the miss Great Bitain pageant. They don't have beauty pageants in Britain...They have least ugly pageants. Why do British farmers raise sheep? They're a lot prettier than their wives. Why aren't there any British operas? Actually there are but they're like British food. Only the British consider it food. How do you spot a British airways jet flying overhead? Check for hair under the wings.

Anonymous said...

You defend your actions by saying “thats part of the humour”, or “angry people are not really fans of the show”, etc, but let me tell you my personal opinion, as i consider myself a real Top gear’s Mexican fan:
It’s not wrong to make fun of somebody else, as long as you have an idea of what are you dealing with,

Freedom of speech is a right, but it is also a right to expose our disagreement to an undeniably mistaken behavior.

As far as i have noticed watching Top Gear, you constantly make jokes about frenchs, or italians, or americans, but these cultures are somehow “used to it”, because they do that too to you and they don’t care if you mess up with them. But mexican people never “mess up” with you, and for an undeveloped country like mexico it’s a pride to be capable of producing a high quality 100% mexican car, and people would expect to be well judged, for such an important step to this country, by such an important tv show as top gear; but on the contrary of that you just made fun of this success, and said shit about the country. Not even the car, a country that in reality is not at all as it was described by these three CAR critics.
An important show such as Top Gear, transmits all over the world this wrong information, affecting, in a way you can’t imagine, our economy (since one of the most important sources of money for Mexico is the tourism), and our culture, so this mess did become political.
It is evident that it’s affecting both countries relations, and Mexicans are waiting for you to stop this fake pride and offer a SINCERE apologize directly from the presenters.

Freedom of speech is a right, but it is also a right to expose our disagreement for such a mistaken behavior . Again, the only way to solve this issue depends entirely on you, and on the way you react face to our reaction.