Jeremy Clarkson was already handed a second chance. He shouldn’t get a third

Outrage was more than justified. People had a right to be appalled when The Sun published Jeremy Clarkson’s now-infamous newspaper column about Meghan Markle on 16 December. The former Top Gear presenter was shockingly, almost inexplicably vitriolic in his words, writing that he hated the Duchess of Sussex “on a cellular level” and dreamed of her being “made to parade naked through the streets” while crowds pelted her with excrement. Even within a right-wing media climate in which Meghan is routinely treated as a despised bogeyman – a reputation rooted plainly in racism – Clarkson’s words were far beyond the pale. We should all be revolted. But no one had a right to be surprised.

esterday Clarkson came out with a tail-between-his-legs letter of contrition, describing his remarks as “disgraceful” and stating that he was “profoundly sorry”. He claimed to have emailed Prince Harry and Meghan on Christmas Day, apologising for the article; a spokesperson for the couple subsequently said the email was addressed solely to Harry (and made no mention of Clarkson’s previous venomous comments about the duchess). In his apology, Clarkson said that both Amazon Studios, which produces Clarkson’s Farm and The Grand Tour, and ITV, which employs him as the presenter of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, were “incandescent” about the Sun column. Later that day it was reported by Variety that Amazon was looking to “cut ties” with Clarkson, and would not be renewing either of the projects he fronts.

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