UK’s Clarkson apologizes to Harry and Meghan over ‘naked’ column

January 17, 2023

LONDON — British TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson said he had e-mailed an apology to Prince Harry and Meghan after he wrote in a national newspaper column that he hoped the Duchess of Sussex would one day be forced to parade naked through the streets.

Mr. Clarkson, who gained worldwide fame as presenter of motoring show Top Gear, wrote in the Sun tabloid in December that he hated Meghan on a “cellular level,” earning widespread condemnation from politicians, his employers, and even his own daughter.

Mr. Clarkson’s opinion piece on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex became the most-complained about article for Britain’s press standards regulator, with more than 20,000 complaints received.

On Monday, Variety reported that Amazon Prime Video was likely to part ways with Mr. Clarkson, citing sources who said the streaming giant would not be working with him beyond seasons of The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm that have already been commissioned.

Neither Amazon Prime nor a representative for Mr. Clarkson immediately responded to a request for comment.

“The language I’d used in my column was disgraceful,” Mr. Clarkson said on Instagram on Monday, adding he had sent the apology on Christmas morning. “I really am sorry.”

Harry and Meghan have made headlines around the world in recent weeks after the couple released a Netflix series, and later Harry’s book, in which they accused the British tabloid press of misogyny and racism.

Prince Harry told broadcaster ITV that Mr. Clarkson’s comments were not only horrific and hurtful, but that they would encourage people around the world to think it was acceptable to “treat women that way.”

A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan on Monday said that while there had been an apology, “what remains to be addressed is his long-standing pattern of writing articles that spread hate rhetoric, dangerous conspiracy theories, and misogyny.”

“Unless each of his other pieces were also written ‘in a hurry,’ as he states, it is clear that this is not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared in hate,” the spokesperson said.

Following the widespread public backlash after his column was published, Mr. Clarkson has said previously he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt.”

He said on Monday that despite an apology from the Sun newspaper and his efforts to explain himself, more than 60 British lawmakers “demanded action to be taken.”

He said his employers — British broadcaster ITV and Amazon — “were incandescent.”

“It’s hard to be interesting and vigilant at the same time,” Mr. Clarkson said in his post.

“Very soon now I shall be a grandfather so in future, maybe I’ll just write about that.” — Reuters

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