The conversation began when Jeremy Clarkson was talking about the interior of a Rolls Royce, stating, “The only problem is that in one of those, you couldn’t enjoy a chocolate Magnum ice cream.”
It was then that Hammond replied, “It’s all right, I don’t eat ice cream. It’s something to do with being straight.”
As the audience began to applaud, Clarkson and James May looked taken aback. “Why are you applauding him?” Clarkson asked. “What do you mean?…You’re saying all children are homosexual?”
Hammond continued by saying, “Ice cream is a bit – you know. There’s nothing wrong with it, but a grown man eating an ice cream – it’s that way, rather than that way.”
Watch the exchange below.
🤗 hello & here's the full richard hammond 'ice creams are gay' piece and yeah, it's awful pic.twitter.com/JhDisRsc1Q
— Ollie Cole (@ProducerOllie) December 26, 2016
Per the BBC, a spokesman for LGBT equality charity Stonewall found the joke offensive, stating, “Hammond’s choice of words were not just ridiculous, but chosen purposefully to mock and belittle. Stonewall trains teachers to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic slurs like these, so to hear this sort of language on television is extremely disappointing and sends the wrong message to young people.”
LGBT campaigner, Peter Tatchell also expressed: “It is a perverse world when an everyday pleasure like ice cream becomes the butt of homophobic innuendo. That Richard Hammond thinks he needs to boast about his heterosexuality is weird and it will get people wondering, ‘Why? Why is he saying that?’ His pandering to prejudice is bad enough but the audience applause makes it worse. It shows that we still have some way to go to end bigoted banter.”
Twitter users also spoke out about the distasteful comment. See their tweets below.
Let's rejoice at @RichardHammond homophobic banter. It's such an obvious publicity stunt that the show must be underperforming. Good news.
— glorafin (@glorafin) December 27, 2016
Dear @RichardHammond, casual homophobia has no place in 2016. You're in the public eye on a public TV show. Your voice is heard & it hurts.
— James Robert-Moore (@Jamesy_Moo) December 27, 2016
We lost Prince, Bowie and Michael in a year where Richard Hammond can't eat ice cream in fear of damaging his fragile & pathetic masculinity
— Dean Eastmond (@deanvictorr) December 27, 2016
Richard Hammond thinks grown men who eat ice cream are gay. I think grown men who spend most of their lives fawning over cars are weird.
— Parveen Agnihotri (@Parveen_Comms) December 26, 2016
homophobia on a show about cars, the most classic white elephant of pathetic threatened masculinity, is so fucking tragic @RichardHammond
— Neil Milan (@neil_milan) December 27, 2016
Richard Hammond gags while explaining ‘men who eat ice-cream are gay’ on The Grand Tour, ep 6.
Are men that watch this show bigoted weasels? pic.twitter.com/G4W9ziqLch
— Hayden Scott-Baron (@docky) December 26, 2016