Rebecca Bernard
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Richard Hammond’s Ice Cream Jab on ‘The Grand Tour’ Goes Sour

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Clarkson, Hammond, and May in the tentThe Grand Tour has finally arrived, with several episodes currently live and ready to view on Amazon’s streaming video platform. The internet has fallen in love, and it seems as if all is right again in the automotive TV world. Or is it?

It would not be a true comeback for the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, though, without an old fashioned scandal. Shockingly enough, this one is not Jeremy Clarkson’s fault, but Richard Hammond’s. When discussing the white leather interior of a Volvo on the show, Clarkson remarked that you wouldn’t be able to eat a Magnum ice cream treat, as its chocolate shell would certainly stain the material. Hammond then replied by saying “It’s alright. I don’t eat ice cream. I think it’s something to do with being straight.”

Ron Swanson eating ice cream

Ron Swanson ,the straightest man we know, eating ice cream.

Predictably, social media went to war over the clip, with The Grand Tour fans defending their irreverent host, and activists and other users criticizing Hammond, claiming that he had made a comment straight out of the 1950s. Even Stonewall, Britain’s LGBT equality charity, responded with a whole blog post about the damaging nature of homophobic comments.

Did the internet overreact? On one hand, the speaker is one third of a hosting group for a niche show on Amazon, which means that the reach of his comment was probably relatively limited before the uproar started. On the other hand, language and prejudice like this should never be normalized, especially when used by people with any sort of platform that can easily influence others. First it’s the host of The Grand Tour, and next it becomes another slur that can be lobbed at anyone in the LGBT community. This makes the outrage over the statement pretty justified, and hopefully Hammond will choose to respond to smooth over ruffled feathers.

Check out the incident for yourself in the video below.

To Richard Hammond, The News Wheel would like to say that we love ice cream, no matter who is eating it.  If you’re feeling insecure in your love for ice cream, just watch Doctor Who’s 10th Doctor, David Tennant, enjoying the treat (and using it as a microphone) in this clip from Blackpool. Gay, straight, or whatever, I think we can all agree that ice cream is a great treat any day.