A petition demanding the reinstatement of embattled Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has surpassed one million signatures.
The Telegraph is reporting that the petition, started and organized by political blogger Guido Fawkes, surpassed one million signatures after the petition was delivered to British Broadcasting Company’s (BBC’s) headquarters. The document was delivered by a person dressed as “The Stig,” the professional driving character from Top Gear, who drove a tank to the BBC for the delivery.
Clarkson’s suspension and future employment are now in the hands of the BBC Director General Tony Hall, who will take the one million signatures and any evidence provided by Clarkson himself and reviewed by Ken MacQuarrie, Director of BBC Scotland. Hall will then consider the appropriate course of action.
A BBC spokesman said, “Once this has been considered, we will set out any further steps. The BBC will not be offering further commentary until then.”
The incident in question and the need for the one million signatures revolves around Clarkson, a Top Gear producer, and a hot meal.
Throughout the taping of an episode of Top Gear, as well as after, Clarkson complained to show producer Oisin Tymon that there was no hot food provided. Allegedly, a confrontation ensued, when Clarkson was supposed to have hit Tymon with his fist. The BBC explained that Clarkson reported the situation himself.
The Standard is reporting that while Clarkson is grateful to his followers and the one million signatures for their support, he doesn’t see much coming from the petition.
Via his Twitter feed, Clarkson said, “Many many thanks to all of the people who have called for my reinstatement. I’m very touched. We shall all learn next week what will happen.”
However, in a recent column he wrote for the Sun, Clarkson revealed his true feelings about the protest.
“The simple truth of the matter is this: Protest never works. Because we are all plankton. And the world is run by whales. Oh, you can be a big and important plankton but that doesn’t make a jot of difference if a whale has decided to eat you up,” Clarkson said.
Clarkson, though, is not new to controversy. In July of 2008, Clarkson was reprimanded for drinking a gin and tonic while behind the wheel of a pick-up truck. In November of that year, after taxi driver Peter Sutcliffe was found guilty of murdering prostitutes, Clarkson joked that most taxi drivers do the same.
Clarkson has also questioned the BBC’s hiring practices as racially motivated, called then-Prime Minster Gordon Brown a “one eyed-Scottish idiot,” caused international incidents in Mexico and India — for which he was forced to apologize — and used the word “n*gger” while singing a nursery rhyme and the word “sl*pe” in reference to a person of Asian descent.
Clarkson is, along with Richard Hammond and James May, a popular part of the Top Gear family. Perhaps, given this history, the BBC may think it is time to make a change.
[Image courtesy of The Telegraph]