UPDATED, 12: 25 PM: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle responded today to Jeremy Clarkson’s latest apology over his recent column in The Sun in which he said he “hates” the Duchess of Sussex.
In a tweet via a spokesperson, the couple wrote: “While a new apology has been issued today by Mr. Clarkson, what remains to be addressed is his long standing pattern of writing articles that spread hate rhetoric, dangerous conspiracy theories, and misogyny. Unless each of his other pieces were also written ‘in a hurry,’ as he states, it is clear that this is not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared in hate.”
Read more details below.
PREVIOUSLY, 7: 22 AM: Jeremy Clarkson isn’t likely to make any more shows for Prime Video when his current commissioned seasons end.
Deadline understands Clarkson, who makes The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm for the streamer, will not sign another deal with Amazon Studios. New seasons that have already been commissioned will go ahead but he won’t likely be on Prime Video shows after 2024.
The presenter has recently been under fire for a column he wrote in the The Sun newspaper in which he wrote he “hates” Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. He also referred to a scene from Game of Thrones, in which Cersei Lannister is forced to strip naked and go on a ‘walk of shame,’ suggesting Markle should experience the same humiliation.
“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,” he had written.
An Amazon rep declined to address today’s news and said: “We have no further comment and nothing to add.”
When Amazon was asked if it could continue to work with Clarkson following the column back in December, there was no official response but sources said key staff were extremely unhappy.
Sources close to Amazon told Deadline the plan to end the partnership with Clarkson had been in the works for some time.
Today, he wrote a “mea culpa” apology on Instagram, in which he revealed he emailed Markle and Prince Harry after the column to apologize at length.
“I really am sorry,” he wrote in a long post. “All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head. This is me putting my hands up. It’s a mea culpa with bells on.”
He noted that The Sun had “quickly apologized” for the piece, which was pulled from the internet, and that he tried to explain himself. “But still, there were calls for me to be sacked and charged with a hate crime. More than 60 MPs demanded action to be taken. ITV, who make Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Amazon, who make the farm show and The Grand Tour, were incandescent.
“I therefore wrote to everyone who works with me saying how sorry I was, and then on Chroistmas morning, I emailed Harry and Meghan in California to apologize too. I was baffled by what they had been saying on TV but the language I used in my column was disgraceful and I was profoundly sorry.”
He claimed he’d sent the article to The Sun in a hurry without sense checking it with another person, and had felt “sick” once he’d read the article and realised its impact. “I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It’s horrible,” he wrote.
“I knew what had happened straight away. I’d been thinking of a scene in Game of Thrones, but I’d forgotten to mention this. So it looked like I was actually asking for revolting violence to rain down on Meghan’s head.”
He added: “I’m just not sexist and I abhor violence against women. And yet I seemed to be advocating just that.”
Variety was first with the story.
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