Outspoken former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has been blasted online after suggesting young climate activist Greta Thunberg deserves “a smacked bottom”.
The 61-year-old – Britain’s answer to Alan Jones – made the controversial comments in a column for The Sunday Times as the Cop26 climate change conference, which Thunberg attended, enters its second week.
The regularly outspoken Clarkson described the 18-year-old activist as an “annoying little bucket of ego”. After criticising her behaviour, he then told readers “what she needs is a smacked bottom.”
“I simply don’t get the Thunberg phenomenon,” he vented.
“She has no knowledge of how the world works, no manners and no letters after her name because instead of going to school, she’s been busy sailing round the world so she can be mardy and abusive to grown-ups.”
Thunberg has been highly critical of the Cop26 climate conference. During the first week of the conference, she attended a number of rallies and spoke with several world leaders.
Although Clarkson is known for courting controversy, the comments didn’t sit well with the public and many were quick to express their disapproval.
“61-year-old man publicly states 18-year-old woman needs her bottom smacked. This is what is so wrong with society. It’s seen as socially acceptable to say this. It’s not! This is what women fight against every day. It’s time for change.”
“Pathetic comments from a ridiculous middle-aged man about a brave teenager. Should be ashamed of himself, BUT won’t be.”
“I like JC however I have major problems with him attacking a young girl/person in this way. There are far too many people out there that listen to people like Clarkson and would act on his comments.”
“Should be ashamed for his comments about Greta Thunberg, really wonder who the adult is.”
Following Clarkson’s criticism of Thunberg he did go on to agree with her on one point, telling readers, “she did come up with one idea last week that struck a chord”.
“In essence, she said that there was no point listening to whatever the f*** the Cop26 politicians were saying inside their important meetings because the people outside knew what had to be done and could just get on and do it,” he said.
It’s not the first time the BBC star has come under fire for offensive behaviour. In 2015 Clarkson was suspended from Top Gear after an altercation with a producer.
Clarkson currently writes weekly columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun. Since 2018, he has hosted the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? for ITV. He is best known for Top Gear and The Grand Tour alongside Richard Hammond and James May.