BBC Apologizes for ‘Top Gear’ Host’s Wisecrack Against Mexicans

Feb 4, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The BBC has apologized to Mexico for comments made by "Top Gear’s" Richard Hammond, reports the AP.

Hammond, one of the presenters on BBC’s "Top Gear," created a firestorm when he criticized Mexican automobiles and suggested that the Mexican people weren’t any better than the cars. Hammond reportedly described Mexicans as lazy and oafish.

In a statement, a spokesperson for BBC said, "We are sorry if we have offended some people, but jokes centered on national stereotyping are a part of ‘Top Gear’s’ humor."

Mexican ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza had written to the network to complain about the comments, prompting the apology.


  1. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? Who hasn’t heard of a “Mexican stand-off,” or “Tijuana Overdrive” (putting the car in neutral when going downhill) or other supposed slurs. Everyone is thin-skinned these days. Let’s lighten up a bit. After all, Polish jokes never received that much attention back in the ’70s.

  2. Ricardo, you are comparing apples to oranges. Immigrants, particularly Mexican immigrants, are vilified these days. The history of a kiss and a slap against Mexicans, particularly farm laborers is long, twisted, and shameful. The comments by the Top Gear hosts harkened back to old stereotypes used to demean and dehumanize Mexicans. It was right and correct for them to apologize, though it does little to stem the tide of hatred toward Mexicans these days.
    While I agree that many of those “Polack” jokes back in the day were and are offensive, I would say that comparatively, they are not fueled with the same vitriol.
    And excuse me, but has ANYBODY ever been pulled over for driving while Polish/Irish/Welsh?

  3. Right on, Ricardo. Everyone indeed needs to lighten up!

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