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The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond and James May respond to Will Young’s ‘gay jokes’ criticism: ‘We’re not remotely homophobic’

Hammond denied that the show was homophobic (Pictures: ITV/ Amazon)

The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond and James May have responded to criticism from Will Young, who hit out at the show for use of ‘homophobic jokes’.

Back in 2019, singer Will spoke out against the show, accusing hosts Richard, James and Jeremy Clarkson of being ‘homophobic’ for making jokes about a certain vehicle being a ‘gay man’s car’.

At the time, the singer lambasted the former Top Gear stars for the ‘sad, shaming and bigoted’ segment of the Amazon Prime Video programme. He recently reiterated his criticism and called presenter Richard the ‘worst’ of the trio of presenters.

Speaking to and other gathered press ahead of the launch of the new Grand Tour special Carnage A Trois, Richard denied the claims.

I made it plain at the time,’ he said, discussing the criticism. ‘I said that I’m not and we’re not remotely homophobic in the show. If anything, we’re very glad to be in an increasingly inclusive society that welcomes everybody, because gender or sexual orientation shouldn’t stand in the way of anything. So, that’s all I’ve got to say on it really.’

James also spoke about the criticism, saying: ‘I hope we’re always careful about the jokes we make because we’re not actually trying to alienate people or offend people.

‘We make fun of people, but that’s not quite the same thing, and we try to be inclusive in that everybody is equally open for mockery and division, mainly ourselves, let’s be honest.’

James went on to say: ‘I’m not aware that we made any crass, homophobic jokes or comments. I hope we didn’t. I don’t think we’re running scared of cancel culture and all the rest of it, but I suppose, unconsciously, and just like everybody else in the world, we’re probably recessing the way we think about things, which is no bad thing at the moment because it’s society and society is making progress and it must always move on.’

He added: ‘We’re not entrenched. We’re not saying, “we live in the 1970s, could you make us a cup of tea, love”. We’re not doing that, we’re actually quite modern people, I think. On the whole, we’re reasonably progressive.

It comes fater Will addressed the Colombia special programme of The Grand Tour where Jeremy was driving a Suzuki Vitara.

‘The producers chose to make the main narrative: Jeremy Clarkson is driving a hairdresser’s car. Basically, Jeremy Clarkson is gay. They had him wearing a pink shirt. They spray the car pink. They have him playing It’s Raining Men,’ he said during an appearance at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival in October.

The musician said that he attempted to ‘track down the producers’, turning to Google to search for their addresses and saying that he ‘was going to stand outside so that I could talk to them and say “you’re a c***”, basically’, adding that he ‘got sidetracked’.

‘Clarkson was the least of my problems. It was Richard Hammond and it was the producers,’ he stated.

‘They’re sitting in an edit suite for nine months. They created the whole thing and it was Amazon that let it go out. I was so shocked and so upset.’

In 2019, Richard hit back after The Grand Tour was accused of being ‘homophobic’, saying: ‘The criticism is just ‘b***dy annoying. We are not remotely homophobic! If someone takes something as homophobic… I don’t want to cause offence.

‘To say, “oh we need to be really careful not to be homophobic” would say that we are, so we’re not going to try and set out to avoid that sort of thing because we’re not.’

In 2017, Richard said in a statement that he ‘entirely rejected’ claims that he was homophobic following comments he made about ‘coming out’.

‘That’s just not the case,’ he said at the time. ‘The very last thing I am is in any way anti-gay. And I said I believe that love is love is love.’

Jeremy was also urged to ‘slow down’ with his work on Clarkson’s Farm by his fellow farmer and Countryfile star Adam Henson recently.

The Grand Tour Carnage A Trois is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video from December 17. 


Credit: Original article published here.

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