Amazon Prime Video is allegedly parting ways with "The Grand Tour" – the automotive show hosted by former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. This follows Clarkson's controversial comments on Meghan Markle in December, for which he has already issued a public apology.
In an exclusive report by Variety, sources said that Amazon Prime Video will not be working with Clarkson anymore after "The Grand Tour" and "Clarkson's Farm" episodes that have already been commissioned. The former is expected to end in late 2024 after four more special episodes, while the latter is reportedly bound to conclude with season 3, which will be coming out also in 2024.
A press conference scheduled on Monday, January 16, 2023, which was meant to promote season 2 of Clarkson's Farm, was canceled. Amazon Prime Video declined to provide a comment about the issue to Variety, though Clarkson later revealed that the streaming service provider was "incandescent" about it.
In a December 16, 2022 column in The Sun, a British tabloid, Clarkson wrote the following of Markle (as quoted by Variety):
I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.
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.
Prince Harry went on record and commented on Clarkson's remark, saying that it was "horrific, hurtful and cruel towards my wife. It also encourages other people around the UK and around the world, particularly men, to go and think that it’s acceptable to treat women that way."
Clarkson has issued a public apology on Instagram (embedded above and can be accessed through the source link below) to which he went to great lengths to set things straight and reveal the backlash he received after the incident. He wrote:
I was mortified and so was everyone else. My phone went mad. Very close friends were furious. Even my own daughter took to Instagram to denounce me.
Clarkson also revealed in the social media post that he sent an apology to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle through email. A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has issued a statement about the apology:
On Dec. 25, 2022, Mr. Clarkson wrote solely to Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex. The contents of his correspondence were marked Private and Confidential. While a new public 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.
Clarkson isn't new to controversy. To recall, BBC cut ties with the Top Gear trio after Clarkson punched one of the show’s producers in 2015.