Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson admitted that he’s on his last strike with BBC after a scandal broke about his apparent use of a racial slur in an unaired segment for the popular British automobile enthusiast show.
In the clip in question, Clarkson chooses between two cars using the popular children’s rhyme “eeny meeny miney, moe” and mumbles n***** in one of the lines. That version was popular in the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century but has since fell out of use. BBC took as no small matter.
"Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode. We have made it absolutely clear to him the standards the BBC expects on air and off,” said the BBC in a statement. "We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this.”
Watch the clip, which was never actually aired:
Clarkson offered an apology for the clip, “begging” for forgiveness, saying that the word is question is one he “loathes,” and that he was “extremely keen to avoid” using it. He mumbles to get past the word but it's clear what word he is avoiding. He replaced it with the word “teacher” for one taping but did not replace it for the others.
Clarkson confirmed exactly how serious BBC is about his choice of words in the future.
"I've been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked," said Clarkson in his weekly column for the Sun tabloid newspaper. "And even the angel Gabriel would struggle to survive with that hanging over his head. It's inevitable that one day, someone, somewhere will say that I've offended them, and that will be that."
It isn’t the first time Clarkson has been caught using offensive language. Just this month he was criticized for naming his black dog after famous black soccer player Didier Dogba. He and the rest of the Top Gear team were criticized for using the term "slope" to refer to an Asian man in a poorly written joke for the show. Slope is derogatory term for people of Eastern descent.
While apologizing for the clip, Clarkson criticized the BBC for pushing him to do so for something he "hadn't done." He's insisted he didn't use the word before, saying that The Mirror (the tabloid that broke the scandal and has a history of bouts with Clarkson) had "gone way to far this time."