Unpopular Oppopinion: Let Clarkson Go

Let me begin by saying this: Jezza is my favorite grumpy, loud-mouthed old Brit. He's a perfect foil to May's "fussy gentleman" and Hammond's "overgrown child" personae. He's got incendiary, acerbic wit and a way with words that leaves me laughing whenever I watch Top Gear. However, now it's time to pass the torch.

Like any public figure, he's going to attract an inordinate amount of attention. Also, like any public figure, he's going to have every one of his actions scrutinized by his viewers, his followers, and anyone else who may have even a vague cognizance of his existence. It's part of being a celebrity, and he should be used to it by now.

The fact is that he's becoming a liability. The latest "fracas," is simply the latest in a pattern of stupid or obnoxious behavior from a man whose job is to make jokes about cars. Since Top Gear's reboot in 2002, he's said and done offensive things about and to nearly everyone he's come across. From crashing a HiLux into a tree, to complaining about buses, to offending the biggest colony, dropping multiple racial epithets, and punching people. Now that he punched someone on set, he is likely to be fired. So be it. If you or I punched someone at work, we'd be fired too.


It's true that he and Piers Morgan made up, and that he has a huge number of people supporting him. It's true that Top Gear will never be the same if he leaves, but entertainment changes. Clarkson, Hammond and May are all in their 50s and have been doing the latest iteration of Top Gear for nearly a decade and a half. There are surely some autojournos or TV presenters who are champing at the bit to even audition for the next generation of Top Gear. It's not going away. Yes, there will be some bad episodes. However, if you watch "New Top Gear," series 1 and 2, you'll see bad episodes. The hosts hadn't gelled and their personalities hadn't developed into the Top Gear you see today. It's just a matter of fact. Unless there's instant chemistry between the hosts, every talk show in the Top Gear format takes a while to come into its own.

Things change. Sometimes it's not fun, and it's scary, but it's always happening. I'll be sad to see Clarkson go, but I look forward to the future.

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