In 2008, hundreds sent complaints to BBC regarding a comment by Jeremy Clarkson about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes.
More recently, the program was criticized by many, mostly Mexicans, for making, in the words of the Mexican Ambassador to London, Eduardo Medina Mora, “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating”” remarks about Mexicans.
In an apology by the BBC to the Ambassador and indeed the people of Mexico, it have said that the comments were “rude” and “mischievous”, but had no “vindictiveness” behind them. Also, it has added that making jokes based on stereotypes was part of British humour. The Brits have constantly derided themselves as poor cooks and worse romantics.
Perhaps the people who were offended were not regular audiences of the program, or they would be familiar with the style of presentation that have made it such a hit in over 100 countries.
We ought to all take ourselves a little less seriously. This is not to say that the Mexicans have no reason to take offense, indeed they do, but only if they choose to. If we can all take a stab at ourselves from time to time, the world might turn out to be a livelier place.
Besides, if Jeremy, Richard and James weren’t this quintessentially British, Top Gear would not be where it is now. Keep it up, I say.