British Car Show Sets Off Ambassador’s Furor

If a British TV star was going to start an international incident, we’d have thought it’d be Ricky Gervais. No such luck: Mexico’s ambassador in London is demanding an apology over a Sunday episode of the automotive show Top Gear in which the stars criticized a Mexican sports car, and Mexico. Host Richard Hammond reportedly said, while reviewing the Mastretta, that Mexicans were “lazy, feckless, flatulent, and overweight.”

Hammond said on-air that the ambassador would not respond to the racial humor because he’d be asleep in a chair, an evident reference to “laziness.” Top Gear may have more influence than it merits — it’s now caused an international incident. BBC indicates that it will respond (possibly with an apology) to the Mexican ambassador. A U.S. edition of Top Gear airs on the History Channel — it hasn’t yet garnered the kind of attention Top Gear baits.