Geez, it’s been a rough week for Mexicans. In a recent episode of the English automotive show Top Gear, presenters James May, Richard Hammond, and Jeremy Clarkson got in trouble with Mexicans around the world by making some astonishingly racist remarks in regards to a new Mexican sports car. Because of the low cost of labor, Mexico has long been seen as a manufacturer of foreign cars. Mexican car company Mastretta is trying to change that image and take ownership of the country’s automotive industry with its MXT—that pretty little baby pictured above. Pioneering, eh? Well Top Gear’s not having any of it.
Unfortunately, the BBC has blocked the video on YouTube for copyright reasons, but we at Remezcla found a bootleg one (below). After introducing the car as the “Tortilla” and admitting that he’d forgotten its actual name, Hammond goes on to say that, since cars reflect national character,”Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.”
We have a sense of humor, sure, but mere humor doesn’t explain an internationally respected automotive show not only not deigning to remember the car’s actual name, but then later ridiculing the press release for mentioning rack and pinion steering—again, Hammond: “Oooh! It’s got steering!”—without mentioning its other specs: a Ford-sourced 2.0-liter Duratec I4 engine, 250 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque, and an extremely lightweight frame. Only contempt and disrespect can account for that oversight.
Hammond went on to say, “Can you imagine waking up every day and remembering you’re Mexican?” to which James May replied that it wouldn’t be a problem because then you could just “go back to sleep.” Oh, and they also said that Mexican food was all “refried sick” (that’s British for “refried vomit,” to be clear) covered in cheese.
Know who wasn’t sleeping against a fence in a poncho? Mexican ambassador to England Eduardo Medina-More Icaza, who sent a letter to the BBC demanding an apology.
We hope the hosts of Top Gear give it to us, and at least come up with more original racism next time.