Jeremy Clarkson is now facing calls for a permanent ITV ban by MP John Nicolson after comments he made regarding Meghan Markle.
In his controversial Sun column, Clarkson claimed the Duchess of Sussex should be paraded naked through the streets while people pelted her with excrement.
He has since faced fury from celebrities and activists alike, with many framing the incident as abusive towards Meghan and women in general.
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Since making the comments, Clarkson has offered an apology – but MP John Nicolson thinks it isn’t enough.
His apology on Twitter read: “Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it. In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people.
“I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”
Now, in an open letter to ITV Chief Executive Dame Carolyn Julia McCall, Nicolson wrote: “I am writing to you in my capacity as the SNP front-bench spokesperson for media in the House of Commons and as a Member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.”
He went on to brand Clarkson’s comments “deplorable”, quoting his latest Sun column.
Clarkson wrote in the column: “Meghan, though, is a different story. I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.
“At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”
Nicolson said the comments “crossed a line”.
In his letter, he said: “Using the names of the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland and the Duchess of Sussex alongside that of a serial killer is grotesque.
“Expressing a scatological, misogynistic fantasy that Meghan Markle might be assaulted with faeces is an insight into a disturbed mind, openly expressing violent hate speech.
“I do not believe that Mr Clarkson should appear on our television screens again. It would be especially inappropriate for him to be used as a presenter by any Public Service Broadcaster.”
Nicolson went on to quote various policies put in place by ITV, including the Social Purpose which says ITV “has a unique ability to shape culture for good”.
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He added: “I do not believe that the behaviour of Mr Clarkson is in line with ITV’s purpose to ‘connect with millions of people and inspire positive change’. Nor do I believe encouraging the abuse of women in the public eye enhances the culture you wish to ‘reflect and shape’?
“Comparing the democratically elected leader of Scotland or the only person of colour in the Royal Family to a renowned serial killer clearly does not help in your stated purpose of championing better mental health or embracing diversity.
“The very opposite is true.”
He concluded his letter by saying: “I note that Mr Clarkson has responded to public revulsion with a mocking tweet. It’s clear no repentance is likely. So I believe there is now considerable public interest in how ITV responds.”
Clarkson currently helms the ITV quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, after taking over from Chris Tarrant; as well as It’s Clarkson on TV, a round-up show.
He also appears on Amazon Prime shows Clarkson’s Farm and The Grand Tour.
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