An executive producer of hit Bbc motoring show Top Gear has confessed his regrets over the broadcast of an offensive joke during an episode last month (Mar14).
Host Jeremy Clarkson sparked outrage among some viewers during a segment in a Top Gear: Burma Special programme when he looked at a bridge over the River Kwai and told his co-hosts, "That is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it," as a man headed across the walkway.
Actress Somi De Souza was so offended she instructed a legal team to demand an apology and accused the Bbc of unlawful discrimination, and the show's boss has now admitted he regrets broadcasting the "light-hearted" remark.
Executive producer Andy Wilman confessed the "slope" comment was a "joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it", adding, "(We) regret any offence caused."
He says, "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. Although it might not be widely recognised in the U.K., 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."
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