Top Gear slope

A screen-cap of the scene in question

In March, 2014 the Top Gear team came under fire for using the word 'slope' in the recently-aired Burma Special. The term is a racial epithet for a person from Asia, used to describe the shape of the eyes of people of Asian descent. The incident came to light before the n-word controversy and heavily contributed to Clarkson's final warnings from the BBC, which later led to his dismissal.


After completing work on their bridge in Thailand, presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond make fun of the double meaning of the world 'slope' in an exchange. Clarkson begins with "that is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it" to which Hammond replies "you're right, it's definitely higher on that side". In the scene, a single Thai worker can be seen walking across the bridge.


Top Gear's executive producer at the time, Andy Wilman, responded to the controversy in a statement in which he said the following:

"When we used the word slope in the recent Top Gear Burma Special it was a light-hearted word play joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it. We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word slope is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA. If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused."

Clarkson and Hammond later poked fun at the incident in the Patagonia Special, in a scene where Clarkson asked if another bridge they were about to cross "was straight".


Footage of the incident was not removed from the episode, as was the case in other controversies.

Top Gear - Slope Comment

Top Gear - Slope Comment

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