British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson's misogynistic comments against the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, have sparked widespread outrage online, with many calling it 'grotesque', 'violent', and 'racist.'
In his column for British tabloid newspaper The Sun, published on Friday, 16 December, Clarkson, best known for being a Top Gear presenter, went on a tirade against Markle, announcing with impunity that he hated her "on a cellular level."
But he did not stop at that. Stooping lower, he made a reference to an infamous Game of Thrones scene and wrote:
"At night, I'm unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, 'Shame!' and throw lumps of excrement at her."Jeremy Clarkson, in his column for The Sun
The British tabloids' malicious coverage of the royal family, especially Markle, has drawn ire in the past, but Clarkson's latest comments – publicly instigating hate and physical harm – were a new low, even for them. So much so that the Ipso, the independent press standards organisation in Britain, received over 6,000 complaints against him, according to BBC.
His column comes amid the release of the last three episodes of Netflix's documentary series Harry & Meghan , in which the royal couple opens up about the impact of tabloid media on their mental health.
The fact that these vile statements made it to a widely-read newspaper speaks volumes about not just everything that's wrong with the tabloid culture in Britain, but also how 'institutionalised' men see women.
Clarkson's Daughter Speaks Up
Clearly, Meghan Markle has the power to rattle these folks, and the enormous support she has received – even from Jeremy Clarkson's daughter – after the column is a reflection of that.
In an Instagram story on Sunday, 18 December, Emily Clarkson called out her father for his remarks. She clarified that she stood against "everything my dad wrote about Meghan Markle."
"My views are and have always been clear when it comes to misogyny, bullying and the treatment of women by the media…I remain standing in support of those that are targeted with online hatred," she wrote.
Celebrities Call Out Misogyny
Jeremy Clarkson, in his column, also said he hated Markle, but "not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West."
Rose West is a convicted serial killer, who tortured and murdered at least 12 girls between 1973 and 1987, with her husband.
Meanwhile, Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, was quoted as saying by BBC on Monday:
"The overwhelming emotion I have for men like Jeremy Clarkson is pity. I can't imagine what it must be like to be so consumed and distorted by hate of other people, and in his case, it appears women in particular, that you end up writing that toxic, vile abuse."
Several other celebrities and politicians joined in the criticism. John Nicolson, a United Kingdom MP and Scottish National Party leader, wrote to the broadcasting service ITV to sack Clarkson as a TV presenter.
After the massive backlash he received over the weekend, Clarkson took to Twitter to 'apologise' for his comments.
"In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people. I'm horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future," he tweeted.
However, many on Twitter were quick to call out his "non-apology."
Queen Consort Draws Ire
Yet, the people who ideally should have condemned and commented on this lowly remark – the members of the royal family – have maintained an unsurprising silence over it.
Queen Consort Camilla, in fact, has come under fire for hosting a lunch, which was reportedly attended by Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan, another TV presenter who has been a vocal critic of Meghan Markle.
The lunch was held on Wednesday, just days before Clarkson's column on The Sun was published.
Clarkson has previously been criticised for his remarks on TV channels employing "black Muslim lesbians" as presenters.
In 2009, he told Top Gear magazine, "The problem is that television executives have got it into their heads that if one presenter on a show is a blond-haired, blue-eyed heterosexual boy, the other must be a black Muslim lesbian. Chalk and cheese, they reckon, works. But here we have Top Gear setting new records after six years using cheese and cheese. It confuses them."
You can read more about the controversies he was involved in here.
(With inputs from BBC.)