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.