UK auto program Top Gear is on the verge of something of a make over following claims the show is neither female nor ethnically ‘friendly’. And it’s not just the gags of host Jeremy Clarkson which are bearing the brunt, its the entire production staff which, it’s claimed, is made up almost entirely of men. With new laws mandating a greater diversity of race and gender in the UK work place, Top Gear is being made to look retrospectively selcetive in it’s hiring. Oxford’s Dr. Louise Livesey claims the TV program suffers “entrenched, institutional sexism”. M-Hm.
Are they serious? Do they really think that if these claims were in any way of any interest to anyone that Top Gear would be the largest automotive TV franchise there has ever been? Or that roughly half the weekly audience members week to week would be women? Do they really think the show could be exported and franchised to as many ethnically diverse TV screens across the world if it was viewed as non-inclusive? Have these miserable clowns taken a look at a ‘traditional’ automotive program, magazine, website, expo, or even film lately? Top Gear works so well precisely because it is so inclusive! There are no bikini clad women draped across the bonnets of sports cars; no red neck pig shooting lunatics tearing up the outback with guns strapped to the roof; no serious discussion on which mag wheels look “full sick” and which are “for bitches”.
If Top Gear were a niche auto program this conversation would not have been heard. Because a group of three blokes (four if you count the Stig who, for the purposes of this rant, we will assume is male; but who knows? Coz they don’t actually know, do they? They just assume it’s a white male.) have struck upon the formula that people want and love they are examined as sexist, ethnically intolerant cavemen. Who are these people that profess to speak for the women and the multi-cultures? Who are they to assume that because a Pakistani viewer doesn’t see a Pakistani host that he is incapable of enjoying the program?
The fact that these three idiots (four if you count the Stig who, for the purposes of this rant we will assume is an idiot; but who knows?) are grown men acting like children is what gives the show its appeal. Seriously, people, go invent your own auto show that boasts a hosting smorgasboard that looks like a Beneton ad and see how you go. maybe you’ll be just as funny, just as cool, and just as loved. Best of luck.