Jeremy Clarkson slammed for wishing Meghan Markle meets a misogynistic "Game of Thrones" fate

In his now-removed column, the "Top Gear" host said he hated the Duchess of Sussex "on a cellular level"

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published December 19, 2022 4:53PM (EST)

Meghan Markle and Jeremy Clarkson (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle and Jeremy Clarkson (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Contentious TV personality Jeremy Clarkson is in hot water for what many consider his "dangerous" and "deeply misogynistic" comments about the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle

Clarkson, best known as the host of the British motoring series "Top Gear," detailed his hatred for Meghan in a Friday article published by the British tabloid newspaper The Sun. The piece was subsequently taken down from the site on Monday, after it received more than 6,000 complaints made to Ipso, the independent regulator of the U.K.'s newspaper and magazine industry. Per People, the organization explained, "In light of Jeremy Clarkson's tweet he has asked us to take last week's column down."

Writing in his column, Clarkson hoped for Meghan's walk of atonement, similar to the infamous scene in "Game of Thrones" in which Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), who confessed to adultery, is made to walk through the town naked, with her hair chopped off as Septa Unella (Hannah Waddingham) accompanies her, ringing a bell and intoning "Shame!" as onlookers jeer.

"At night, I'm unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming 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 wrote.

"Everyone who's my age thinks the same way. But what makes me despair is that younger people, especially girls, think she's pretty cool. They think she was a prisoner of Buckingham Palace, forced to talk about nothing but embroidery and kittens."

He also asserted that he hated Meghan more than First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and Rose West, an English serial killer who — with her husband, Fred West — tortured and murdered several young women along with her eight-year-old stepdaughter between 1973 and 1987.

Sturgeon condemned Clarkson's article, saying, "I think what he said about Meghan Markle was deeply misogynist and just downright awful and horrible. My overwhelming emotion about guys like Jeremy Clarkson is pity," per The Times

"I mean, what is it that makes somebody so distorted by hate that they end up writing these things? I think that possibly gives an insight into Jeremy Clarkson and the kind of person he is. So maybe he just needs to take a step back from things and just think about life a bit more."

In the same vein as Sturgeon, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan took to Twitter to criticize the article: "As Jeremy Clarkson should well know – words have consequences. The words in his piece are no joke – they're dangerous and inexcusable. We are in an epidemic of violence against women and girls and men with powerful voices must do better than this."

Clarkson's daughter, Emily Clarkson, also spoke out against her father in an Instagram story, saying, "My views are and have always been clear when it comes to misogyny, bullying and the treatment of women by the media. I want to make it very clear that I stand against everything that my dad wrote about Meghan Markle, and I remain standing in support of those that are targeted with online hatred."

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The inflammatory column was published amid the release of the second half of Meghan and Prince Harry's tell-all Netflix series "Harry & Meghan." In response to the backlash, Clarkson issued an apology on Monday:

"Oh dear. I've rather put my foot in it," he wrote. "In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in 'Game of Thrones' and this has gone down badly with a great many people. I'm horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future."

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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Aggregate Jeremy Clarkson Meghan Markle Nicola Sturgeon Prince Harry