Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Nae Offence Wee Sachs...

How wrong can you be? Just last week I said that in the wake of the Brand/Ross fiasco, BBC talent now knew they wouldn’t be backed in the event of a complaint. But lo! The bods have been all too quick to rush to the defence of Top Gear’s Jez Clarkson now he’s ruffled a few feathers with these, lets face it, much more genuinely offensive remarks.

The Beeb say of Clarko’s joke:

“The vast majority of Top Gear viewers have clear expectations of Jeremy Clarkson's long-established and frequently provocative on-screen persona.
"This particular reference was used to comically exaggerate and make ridiculous an unfair urban myth about the world of lorry driving, and was not intended to cause offence."

The thing is, if the question is “how many dead prostitutes does it take to make one Andrew Sachs?” the answer, according to the BBC, would appear to be “more than five”.

It is morally and logically indefensible to throw performers to the lions one week for making jokes about shagging a lassie and to then defend a guy who makes a joke referencing five young women murdered in cold blood barely a year ago. Am I saying Clarkson should be sacked? No, of course not, a joke is a joke, but where's the consistency?

When Cari Mitchell of the English Collective of Prostitutes (great name!), says that the offence caused by Clarkson’s joke was: "…more serious than the Ross and Brand debacle" because he was "making light of murder", you have to say she has a point.

As for the BBC’s defence; if Jeremy Clarkson genuinely doesn’t wish to offend, he might want to steer clear of jokes about brutally (and very recently) murdered woman.

Will this escalate into the next celebrity witch hunt? I doubt it, but who knows? After all, we’re yet to hear as a nation what Kelvin McKenzie thinks of it all…

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