Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Straight" is an offensive word?

Jeremy Clarkson has once again become embroiled in controversy after appearing to poke fun at the 'slope' racism row on the Top Gear Christmas special.

The 54-year-old appeared to mock the decision by Ofcom earlier this year which ruled he had been 'deliberately offensive' after using the word 'slope' on an episode of the BBC show.

In Saturday's Christmas special, Clarkson told co-presenter Richard Hammond: 'That is a proud moment, Hammond, but... is it straight?' as they admired their makeshift bridge in Argentina.

Many took it to as a reference to his comments in a March episode of the show in which he said: 'That is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it', as a man walked towards them on their makeshift bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand.

At the time, viewers complained about the use of the word 'slope', which is considered a derogatory term for people of Asian descent.

Ofcom launched an investigation into the Burma TV special and ruled in July that the presenter had 'deliberately employed the offensive word to refer to the Asian person'.


Clarkson was of course cautiously mocking the pomposity of "slope" being declared a racial slur.  Australia has a large East Asian minority so I have certainly heard it at times but all the reports about Clarkson's use of the term had to explain that it was derogatory.  Clearly very few Brits had heard the term.  It was not therefore derogatory in Britain.  I believe the term originated among the troops in Vietnam.  Britain did not take part in the Vietnam war.


Anonymous said...

If the offense requires explanation it is not worth discussing. People need to get a life and start worrying about starving children instead.

Bird of Paradise said...

What i find offensive is dumb PC words like BCE(Before Common Era)and CE(Common Era)their using instead of BC and AD and this idiot MICHEAL W. FOX who thinks we should use the term COMPANION ANIMAL in place of PET

Anonymous said...

As I remember it, troops called Asians gooks.

Anonymous said...

Re: What Bird of Paradise said about BCE and CE.

In my mind I have taken them to mean "Before Christian Era" and "Christian Era". The Wikipedia article about these abbreviations mentions that also, see:

Anonymous said...

BoP: what the f.u.c.k do you care about someone that chooses to call a pet a companion animal? Why do you and your ilk want to shove your values down everyone's throat? I thought that conservatives want to keep the government off of people's backs. Just extend that notion to individuals, too. Why don't you make yourself useful and attack unsolicited political phone calls?