Jeremy Clarkson, former Top Gear man, is no stranger to controversy, because that’s basically his entire brand. Well, not controversy, because that implies that it is interesting on some level. Clarkson is, at base, a troll, that most classic of archetypes. The latest dust-up suggests he isn’t even very good at being that anymore.
Clarkson, you see, has a column in The Sun, a British tabloid, itself its own separately odious part of the British media landscape. Clarkson’s column publishes weekly, and his latest, on Friday, concerned Meghan Markle, who is married to Prince Harry, both of whom don’t want to have much to do with the royal family or the U.K. these days. Clarkson wrote:
I HAD a furious agreement with someone this week, and it got so out of hand, she crashed into a hedge.
We both agreed that Meghan Markle is an unhinged monster, but we couldn’t agree on just how awful she is.
We were dreaming up better and stronger insults, none of which can be published here, even though they’re all perfectly fair.
Except on Friday, December 16, he apparently decided to publish some of those insults. You can read the whole column here if you desire, but I promise you that the following tweet does not take anything out of context. This is in part, I’m told, a reference to Game of Thrones, which does nothing to make it less horrible:
The outrage was strong throughout the weekend, with the BBC reporting that a press regulator had received over 6,000 complaints, and with Clarkson’s daughter, Emily, saying that she, “stand(s) against everything my dad said about Meghan Markle.”
Those were among many to express horror, which seems to have gotten through to Clarkson, at least inasmuch as he seems aware enough to know that this time he crossed the line. He tweeted Monday:
And not long after The Sun took the column down, with a byline that suggests that Jeremy Clarkson knows it’s time to cancel himself.
It might be worth examining Clarkson’s problem with Meghan Markle except his problem seems to be merely that she exists. And while for many of us it was possible for years to hold one’s nose while consuming Clarkson’s content, it’s pretty much impossible to do that anymore. We all know too much.
Whatever happened to the Jeremy Clarkson who did dumb shit with cars? We all sort of liked that guy. The current Clarkson seems full of bile, which no one likes. It’s also when you know it’s probably time to call it a career.