Top Gear star defends controversial gay joke

Section
Celebrity,
Publish Date
Sunday, 3 December 2017, 12:20PM

Richard Hammond has spoken out about a controversial joke he made last year about ice cream being "gay".

In December 2016, Hammond was presenting on The Big Tour when he said he didn't want to eat ice cream because it was "something to do with being straight" and "ice cream is a bit...you know."

Clarkson replied: "You're saying all children are homosexual?" To which Hammond responded: "There's nothing wrong with it, but a grown man eating an ice cream — it's that way, rather than that way."

Now, in an interview with the Times Magazine he said he never set out to offend anyone or "cause genuine difficulty for anyone".

"Anyone who knows me knows that I wasn't being serious, that I'm not homophobic. Love is love, whatever the sex of the two people in love," he said.

"It may be because I live in a hideously safe and contained middle-class world, where a person's sexuality is not an issue, but when I hear of people in the media coming out, I think, why do they even feel the need to mention it?

"It is so old-fashioned to make a big deal of it. That isn't even an interesting thing to say at a dinner party anymore."

At the time, Hammond was slammed by the LGBT+ community and its allies. According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman for LGBT equality charity Stonewall said:

"Hammond's choice of words were not just ridiculous but chosen purposefully to mock and belittle. This is the sort of childish language heard in playgrounds across Britain.

"Stonewall trains teachers to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic slurs like these, so to hear this sort of language on television is extremely disappointing and sends the wrong message to young people."