Mexican Anger at BBC Car Show After ‘Xenophobic’ Comments

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BBC car show 'Top Gear' presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond at the National Television Awards

Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage/Getty Images

They’re known for their taste-pushing humor but have the Top Gear boys finally gone too far? Mexico seems to think so. (Via CNN.)

The BBC’s flagship car show has been branded ‘xenophobic’ by Mexico’s ambassador to the U.K., Eduardo Medina Mora Icaza, after the show’s presenters characterized Mexicans as feckless and lazy when reviewing the Mexican-made Mastretta sports car during the broadcast on Jan. 30.

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BBC America claims that the success of Top Gear is down to the “sharp wit of the presenters…” which, “make it more than just a motor show.” However, comments made by presenters Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson have infuriated Mexican viewers.

“Why would you want a Mexican car, because cars reflect national characteristics…” said Hammond, “Mexican cars are just going to be 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.”

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Mora is insisting that the presenters apologize publicly on the show, though this looks unlikely given their reputation for controversy. In 2007 the presenters chose to ignore the recently imposed smoking ban in the U.K. by smoking pipes while discussing cars in the indoor studio.

A BBC spokeswoman said, “We have received a letter from the Mexican Ambassador and shall respond to him directly.”

So is that a ‘no’ to any sort of public apology then?