The British newspaper The Mirror claims they have un-aired BBC footage of Jeremy Clarkson using a racial slur, while, of all things, deciding between the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ twins. Clarkson has denied this, James May denied this, and, once again, the source is The Mirror.
I did not use the n word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) May 1, 2014
Even assuming that all old British men are a little racist, and assuming that The Mirror isn't wrong (a big assumption), this is extremely tenuous.
The usage of the n-word allegedly happens as Clarkson was reciting the old decision-making chant, "eenie-meenie-miny-moe." Archaic forms of the counting-out rhyme do include the slur, though the word used in the aired footage, "teacher," is also listed as one of the common variants.
Jeremy Clarkson is not a racist. He is a monumental bellend and many other things, but not a racist. I wouldn't work with one. #ThatIsAll
— James May (@MrJamesMay) May 1, 2014
This all is happening right on the heels of the last Top Gear-related racial slur issue, when the offensive term "slope" was used in a bit of juvenile wordplay while the Top Gear guys were in Burma shooting a special. That incident was owned up to by the hosts, even if they did try and blame it on over-sensitive Americans.
(Warning: If you don't like hearing racial slurs, you can still watch this video because you can't actually hear one.)
This time, Clarkson is categorically denying saying the word, and the alleged footage itself has never actually been officially aired. The Mirror claims that audio experts they hired have determined the clip to be un-tampered with, and the BBC is planning its own investigation as well.
In Clarkson's defense, the word — whatever it turns out to be — is pretty garbled and slurred in the video. It does sound somewhat like it, like how someone half-pronouncing some bit of rote, long-ago memorized doggerel might say it, but it's unclear.
Personally, I'm hoping the big old loudmouth didn't actually say something so offensive and stupid — I like watching him (even if he's wrong about Beetles). The denials are pretty strong in this case so hopefully this is the end of it.