by Nicholas Solomon
This was the license/ number plate for a Porche 928GT that Jeremy Clarkson drove for Top Gear’s Patagonia Christmas Special. Before getting too deep into the reactions of this unfortunate license plate, a significant detail should be addressed. The license plate number (H982 FKL), was the previous owner’s license plate number. Clarkson had not change the number to incite a joke or anger.
Great Britain and Argentina have suffered a tense relationship after the Falklands War in 1982. In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands that were under British control. Britain responded quickly and efficiently. The war was over in a few months as the British reclaimed the Falklands. The final city that Top Gear was visiting is home to a large population of Falklands war veterans.
Clarkson is not new to controversy. He has enraged multiple foreign political leaders. While presenting alongside James May and Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson has said many inappropriate things for the sake of laughs. He has become a controversial figure in England. As reported in Express, Clarkson said there was a “slope” in the bridge that they had constructed in Mayumar, and there was an Asian man walking on the bridge. “Slope” is a racial slur that refers to Asians.
The BBC’s Top Gear presenters showed up in Argentina was no buzz circulating about the number plate. After the Autoblog Argentina tweet, the story picked up. An Argentine reddit user w0rtrod posted their perspective. You can read the entire post here. In the post, w0rtrod describes the Argentine twitter traffic about the number plates as inaccurate. This flurry of fake facts and exaggerated detail caused a protest at Tierra Del Fuego. The stars and the crew fled the country from riots and road blocks. On YouTube, Argentine users post videos of themselves or others throwing rocks and insults at the crew’s cars as they drove by. The stars of the show, including Clarkson, were smuggled the city and to the airport. No one was seriously harmed. Twitter is still proving to be a dangerous place.
Alexander, H. (2014, December 27). Top Gear Christmas Special: What really happened in Patagonia? . Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/argentina/11309075/Top-Gear-Christmas-Special-What-really-happened-in-Patagonia.html
Brown, A. (2014, December 30). Top Gear fans praise Patagonia special as Argentina rages at airing of controversial show. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/549223/Top-Gear-fans-praise-Patagonia-special-as-Argentina-rages-at-airing-of-controversial-show