BBC suspends Jeremy Clarkson for punching producer

Clarkson threw "a punch at a male producer" during a filming last week.

March 11, 2015 01:04 pm | Updated 01:04 pm IST - New York

A file photo of 'Top Gear' host Jeremy Clarkson.

A file photo of 'Top Gear' host Jeremy Clarkson.

BBC announced on Tuesday that Jeremy Clarkson, the host of Top Gear programme, was suspended “following a fracas” with a producer.

The terse statement said “no one else has been suspended” and that Top Gear , a show about motoring, will not be aired on Sunday. BBC gave no further details but the Guardian reported that Clarkson threw “a punch at a male producer” during a filming last week.

Besides racist taunts against Indians, Clarkson’s history includes using ugly terms for people of African descent and for Southeast Asians. He also made offensive jokes about Mexicans and Chinese drowning-victims on BBC broadcasts.

All along, BBC had not taken any action against him for racist slurs. In a show broadcast in 2011, he installed a toilet in the trunk of a Jaguar and drove around slums where he took off his pants in public, claiming to show Indians how to press pants with a device that he said he used to make chapattis with.

The Indian programme used railway carriages in a segment to display obscenities. A banner reading, “Eat English Muffins,” was strung across the carriages in such a way that when the carriages separated an obscenity showed up. The other, “The United Kingdom promotes BRITISH IT FOR YOUR COMPANY” turned into a jibe about excreta.

The Daily Mail reported that Indian diplomats had agreed to making the programme in India after its produces wrote to them that it would be a “light-hearted road trip.”

An outline of the programme had claimed that it would show “spontaneous interaction between the presenters and their environment” and that it would emphasise “local car culture” and show “beautiful scenery, busy city scenes, local charm and colour,” the newspaper reported.

BBC’s director general at that time, Mark Thompson is now the chief executive officer of the New York Times .

The Telegraph reported that after the programme was aired, a spokesperson for BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten said he stood by his comment that Top Gear was one of the leading “cultural” exports of Britain.

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