Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘Special Needs’ Ferrari Joke Sparks Anger

I first heard of Jeremy Clarkson in early 2009 when he was caught on record by Australian journalists calling Gordon Brown, the then British Prime Minister, a ‘one eyed Scottish idiot’ because he is partially sighted. I didn’t like him then, and I like him even less today, because of this:

Jeremy Clarkson’s has angered disability charities and carers by describing a car as “special needs” on BBC2′s Top Gear show.

The TV presenter was comparing two Ferrari cars when he said the older one looked like a “simpleton”.

He then added the car, called 430 Speciale, should be the “430 Speciale… needs” in Sunday’s show.

His comments angered Suzi Browne at the National Autistic Society.

She said: “To use terms such as special needs in a derogatory or flippant manner only perpetuates the prejudice and bullying which people with disabilities have to cope with.”

She added 40% of autism sufferers were bullied at school.

Mum Mo Gilbert, from Crawley, West Sussex, whose son, 17, has autism and asperger’s syndrome, said: “It’s a disgusting thing to say. It’s no joke having a disability.” The BBC declined to comment.

Last time, Clarkson apologised for his disablist comment, and the BBC took no further action. I wonder why they haven’t commented yet this time. I wonder if they’ll bother to comment at all. I wonder if Clarkson will bother to apologise this time. However, as I said last year, apologising for disablism doesn’t change the pain it causes to disabled people. It doesn’t change the fact that disablist comments are wrong.

Even if, for a minute, we accept that Clarkson’s comments about Gordon Brown were unintentional, no one should make the same mistake twice. If a person does the same thing wrong more than once, it should not be called a mistake.

Clarkson has proved to the public at least twice that he is disablist. Personally, I don’t think the BBC should be allowing a disablist person to work for it in such a high profile position. That’s why I’ve started this Facebook group calling for him to be sacked. Please join it if you agree.


About samedifference1

Samedifference1 celebrates differences and similarities between the DisAbility community and the rest of the world, most often through her writing, in the company of her laptop, which she'd be lost without. When not blogging, she reads or writes for any magazine desperate enough to publish her scribbles. She enjoys the company of old friends, good books and cats.
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One Response to Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘Special Needs’ Ferrari Joke Sparks Anger

  1. Pingback: Vote Clarkson! | Humanity Hallows

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