'put my foot in it'
A controversial article about Meghan Markle by British broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson has drawn a record number of complaints.
The Top Gear host recently wrote in The Sun that he hates the Duchess of Sussex "on a cellular level" and dreams "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." He also suggested he hates her more than serial killer Rose West.
The article quickly sparked fierce backlash, and The Guardian reports that the Independent Press Standards Organization has received over 17,500 complaints about it as of Tuesday morning, setting a record for the most complaints the regulator has ever received about an article. For comparison, the watchdog only received 14,355 total complaints in the entirety of 2021.
Clarkson's article has since been removed from The Sun's website. In a statement on Twitter, he said he "put my foot in it" by making a "clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people." The HBO show features a scene where a character, Cersei Lannister, is forced to walk naked through the streets of King's Landing.
"I'm horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future," Clarkson said, though he faced further criticism for not offering a more direct apology.
Member of Parliament John Nicolson on Monday wrote a letter to the chief executive of ITV, arguing Clarkson's "deplorable" comments offer an "insight into a disturbed mind" and that he should not "appear on our television screens again."