Top Gear Says 'Sorry' For Weird Racist Joke, Blames America

We heard that Top Gear was getting sued last month when they used the obscure, derogatory term "slope" to refer to an Asian person in their Burma Special. Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman just issued an apology, and it's even weirder and blames us.

It's not so much that the apology seems half-hearted or insincere, it's more just that it's all jumbled, confused, and self-contradictory. Here's the statement, in full, before we continue:

When we used the word 'slope' in the recent Top Gear Burma Special it was a light-hearted word play joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it.

We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word 'slope' is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA.

If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused.

Paragraphs one and three are pretty much standard, and on their own, would suffice as a run-of-the-mill corporate apology. Sometimes there's some other wording about how a grand (and actually quite paltry) donation is being made to somesuch charity to further the cause against somethingorother, but it's not really necessary.

What is weird here is that second paragraph in conjunction with the first. Here it is again, emphasis on the weird parts mine:

When we used the word 'slope' in the recent Top Gear Burma Special it was a light-hearted word play joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it.

We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word 'slope' is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA.

On the one hand, I can see how they can make a derogatory joke about a race or ethnic group, call it "light-hearted," and simply have no idea that derogatory jokes about race or ethnic groups are offensive, not only because it's considered a facet of British humor and culture, but also because Top Gear has done it so many times that it's completely unsurprising.

It's not that they make derogatory jokes towards Asians, specifically, because they make derogatory jokes towards everybody. Just ask the Mexican ambassador.

It's that Wilman goes on to say the source of the brouhaha is "Australia and the USA."

Seriously? Seriously?????

Americans are pretty much the only people who heard that "joke" and let it sail right over our heads. Some commenters of ours picked up on it, but those voices were overwhelmingly drowned out by those who'd never heard it in their lives.

In fact, the only reason we innocent babes caught wind of it was because a British person sued over it. So don't go blaming us, Brits!

Merits of the case aside, I'm now resenting this accusation leveled at America, Land of the Brave and Home of the Free (™), that we were the source of the original complaint. Take some personal responsibility, United Kingdom, like American Hero and World Savior Ronald Reagan (™) would've done.

Limey bastards.