Amazon.com Inc. executives said they’re discussing the future of a show fronted by one of its biggest British stars, Jeremy Clarkson, after he sparked outrage with a newspaper column about the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.
(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. executives said they’re discussing the future of a show fronted by one of its biggest British stars, Jeremy Clarkson, after he sparked outrage with a newspaper column about the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.
During a panel at Edinburgh TV Festival, Amazon Prime Video executives were asked what the controversy meant for the future of its hit unscripted show Clarkson’s Farm, which follows the former Top Gear host’s efforts to run a farm.
UK press industry regulator IPSO received more than 25,000 complaints in December 2022 after Clarkson wrote in The Sun newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., that he hated Meghan Markle and dreamed of how she should be publicly paraded and shamed.
“There’s a lot of conversations about that going on,” said Dan Grabiner, Amazon Prime Video’s head of originals for UK and Northern Europe. “We decided not to interrupt season three, which is halfway through production, but no decisions have been made.”
“It’s a hell of a lot bigger than Jeremy Clarkson,” he added.
“It’s called Clarkson’s Farm!” replied the panel’s chair, drawing laughs from the crowd.
Amazon’s UK Originals Unscripted Lead Fozia Khan said “we were shocked and disappointed” by the column.
Following the backlash, The Sun apologized and Clarkson said he’d apologized to Markle and her husband, Prince Harry.
Shortly after the controversy, Clarkson’s Farm became Amazon Prime Video’s most-watched original show in the UK, according to broadcast audience research firm Barb. In the first month after the second season premiered in February 2023, it was watched by almost 7.6 million people.
Clarkson has been a prominent TV personality in Britain for decades, hosting the BBC car show Top Gear before becoming one of the first stars to be commissioned by Amazon Prime Video in 2016 with The Grand Tour.
A representative for Clarkson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
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