Our friends across the pond are enjoying quite the scandal this week. The BBC’s “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended for punching a producer. Social media, and Piers Morgan in particular, are having way to much fun with this news. They’re also pulling two of three remaining episodes. Clarkson is controversial, to put it nicely. He’s said outrageous things about most of the people on the planet, but he’s also made “Top Gear” insanely popular. His suspension has been trending on Twitter all day long. And it’s getting political:
“Top Gear” is BBC2’s most popular show, regularly watched by more than 5 million viewers a week. By Wednesday lunchtime more than 350,000 people had signed an online petition organised by the rightwing blogger Guido Fawkes calling for the presenter to be reinstated by the BBC.
There’s a change.org petition with over 400,000 signatures in support of the popular host. And Clarkson is also a known rival to CNN’s Piers Morgan, so it’s been especially fun to watch the taunting:
First change I’d make – new segment called: ‘SUPERSTARS IN UNFATHOMABLY EXPENSIVE CARS.’ #TopGear
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 11, 2015
If we have learned anything between “Duck Dynasty” and the Brian Williams fiasco, its that social media has made it very easy for people to let networks know how they feel. The BBC is public; it’s amazing they let someone like Clarkson on television for so long in the first place. But 450,000 fans is a lot of fans. Without Clarkson, there is no “Top Gear.”