The BBC has apologised to the Mexican ambassador in London following comments made by Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
In the show, broadcast on Sunday night, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were discussing the new Mastretta sports car which hails from Mexico when Hammond said “cars reflect national characteristics.”
He then said: “Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.”
Mexican food was also described as “refried sick”.
The stereotypical jibes caused a huge fallout with Mexicans and the wider population taking to message boards to share their disgust at the comments.
And it ruffled the feathers of the Mexican ambassador in London who said the remarks were “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating” and contacted the BBC demanding an apology.
Following pressure, the BBC has issued an apology to the ambassador, Eduardo Medina Mora, but stressed there was no malice intended.
In a statement, the corporation said: “The show has explained they were making comic use of a stereotype – a practice with which regular viewers of Top Gear will be familiar.
“The presenters often make jokes about the perceived characteristics of various nationalities when talking about the cars made in those countries.
“It is something that has been done in the past with the French, the Germans, the Americans and the Italians, so Mexico was not singled out for special treatment in this case.
“Whilst it may appear offensive to those who have not watched the programme or who are unfamiliar with its humour, the executive producer has made it clear to the ambassador that that was absolutely not the show’s intention.”
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