Look out for some racism on Prime Television - thanks to Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson
TOP GEAR IS back on New Zealand television screens tonight on Prime Television and the new season opens with Jeremy Clarkson and chums driving 'across Burma in an epic journey of beautiful scenery, regular adversity, and the constant bickering of three badly dressed buffoons.'
The Prime website still refers to Myanmar as Burma.
Top Gear's Myanmar special though has stirred up controversy and, once again, Jeremy Clarkson is being accused of racism.
Indian born actress Somi Guha is suing the BBC for up to £1million because of a racist joke made by Clarkson during the 'Burma Special'. Guha wants one million pounds in punitive damages, unless the BBC both issues a formal apology and takes the show off the air completely - which is highly unlikely since Top Gear makes a lot of money for the BBC.
The viewer would have to possess some familiarity with Asian culture to even notice the joke and presumably that's why Clarkson did it - he thought he was being 'clever'.
Clarkson uses the word 'slope', a derogatory term for people of Asian descent.
The three hosts - Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson - are tasked with building a bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand.
After completion, Clarkson, says: 'That is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it', as a man walks towards him on a makeshift bridge.
Co-presenter Richard Hammond replies: 'You're right, it's definitely higher on that side.'
This is not the first time Top Gear has been accused of racism. In 2011 Richard Hammond referred to Mexicans as "lazy," "feckless," "flatulent," and "overweight." . Mexico's ambassador to Britain, angrily responded that the comments displayed "bigotry" and "ignorance."
In 2011 Clarkson said that public sector workers had no right to strike and that he would have them shot in front of their families. The BBC subsequently issued a public apology.
Jeremy Clarkson is a supporter of the Conservative Party and a personal friend of Prime Minister David Cameron.