Was Richard Hammond's gay ice cream joke on The Grand Tour in bad taste?
Despite only being six episodes into the first series, The Grand Tour is already no stranger to controversy. However, while Mr. Clarkson is normally the chief culprit having angered PETA with his car crudely constructed out of animal remains, this time it’s Mr. Hammond who is under fire for a comment made during the show’s “Conversation Street” segment according to Deadline. It all started when Clarkson made a light-hearted remark about how it’s impossible to eat a chocolate Magnum ice cream in a light-colored Volvo interior.
Hammond replied saying "That's alright, I don't eat ice cream. It's something to do with being straight." This resulted in obligatory audience applause, but for once even Clarkson seemed uncharacteristically taken aback by the ill-judged joke. "Why are you applauding him?" he asked. "You're saying all children are homosexual?" Unsurprisingly, Hammond’s remark hasn’t gone down well with some community groups. One LGBT group known as Pride in London posted a tweet directly to Hammond with a photo asking him if he would like an ice cream from the Big Gay Ice Cream shop.
Wall’s Ice Cream couldn’t resist commenting either, in a Tweet saying "Hey @RichardHammond, it doesn't matter what flavour you prefer, ice cream is for everyone!" Whether Hammond’s comment was deliberately malicious and homophobic is up for debate, but we suspect it was just a joke that severely misfired. Nevertheless, it probably shouldn’t have made the final cut and almost certainly wouldn’t have been permitted by the BBC if this was an episode of Top Gear. It certainly adds more fuel to the fire on the debate whether the team has too much free reign with Amazon compared to the BBC's tight leash on Top Gear.