Matt LeBlanc caught up in Top Gear controversy

The former F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and current Episodes star, and new Top Gear host, Matt LeBlanc, is being called “gravely disrespectful”, alon...

The former F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and current Episodes star, and new Top Gear host, Matt LeBlanc, is being called “gravely disrespectful”, along with BBC’s revamped version of the popular motoring magazine show. The label was bestowed by a former British colonel after images showing Matt in a car performing stunts near The Cenotaph, a World War I memorial in central London, hit the Internet. The photos clearer show tyre marks on the nearby street, but Top Gear bosses claim that the stunts took place “a respectful distance away” and that the local council had granted permission. 

According to the British broadcaster, discussion with the council took place for four months prior to shooting. Famed US rally driver, Ken Block, manoeuvred the 4WD Hoonicorn Mustang through Whitehall, The Mall and Parliament Square, while Matt sat in the passenger seat.

The retired army colonel, Richard Kemp, continued his scathing remarks while speaking to The Daily Telegraph: "This is a sacred tribute to millions of people who have done far more for their country than Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc ever will. Jeremy Clarkson was certainly no saint but I don’t believe he would have ever performed a stunt in such bad taste.” Er…we’re not sure about that.

The main host, Chris Evans, had already apologised for the incident during his BBC radio show on Monday. He said “"It doesn’t matter what actually happened, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances were that could explain this away, what is important about this is what these images look like and they look entirely disrespectful, which is not and would never be the intention of the Top Gear team or Matt.”

On Tuesday, however, the Westminster City Council said that Top Gear producers had requested to film a car driving down Whitehall, not to perform stunts by the war monument. A council spokesperson said that what took place on that day – wheel spins and doughnuts - was not what was agreed upon during planning.

The footage will probably not be used in the series that starts airing in May, although Top Gear producers will still have final say. While this has riled up many people, this controversy still doesn't match the gravity of controversies caused by former hosts, Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May; their shenanigans include using number plates that referred to the Falkland Wars while filming in Argentina, Clarkson using the N-word and the final straw when he punched a producer, leading to BBC deciding to not renew his contract.

images: DailyMail


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