Jeremy Clarkson’s abhorrent views on Meghan reflect the society we live in | Letters

Zoe Gray says the treatment of the Duchess of Sussex confirms that Britain is a place where the media can bully a woman so much that she has to flee. Plus letters from Averil Ashton, Ruth Rowles and Ralph Lloyd-Jones

Re Zoe Williams’ column (Violent misogynistic fantasies like Jeremy Clarkson’s are not new – but the Sun gleefully publishing them is, 19 December), last week I felt confused about why I had found the Harry and Meghan Netflix series upsetting to watch, unsurprised as I was by their treatment from the media and the royal family.

As I read Jeremy Clarkson’s violent opinion, I realised it was because of what Meghan’s experience, Jeremy’s reaction and the Sun’s complicity confirms about the society I survive in. The sort of place with the type of media that take visceral pleasure in tearing a woman apart, bullying and hounding her until she is unsafe and has to leave. And then punishing her for leaving with mockery and bile. Game of Thrones is the medieval point of reference for a reason.

This is, and isn’t, about Meghan. Her treatment tells us everything we need to, and don’t want to, know about this country. If these words are being printed in national newspapers, what do you think the men responsible for writing and publishing them are saying behind closed doors?

So we complained to Ipso, so the piece got taken down, so Jeremy issued a bullshit apology. What next?
Zoe Gray
Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire

• Zoe Williams’ article sums up my feelings too. But Jeremy Clarkson does not speak for the over-60s at all, despite his wild assertion that “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way”. We don’t. I don’t know anyone who agrees with Clarkson’s violent, racist fantasies.

I am in my 70s and I am deeply worried to see such anti-women and racist comments gaining ground in the mainstream media. People of my age, of every age, must start speaking out loudly against these views. Just because we are a certain age, it does not make us all rightwing, racist misogynists.
Averil Ashton
Calne, Wiltshire

• Nesrine Malik may be missing a point (Why the woes of Harry and Meghan tell us little about British racism, 19 December). It is because of their position at the heart of Britain’s most historical and established institution that Harry and Meghan can bring to light the entrenched attitudes of racism, bullying, class, conservatism and lack of empathy, deeply wired into our culture, at the very centre of the establishment. To disturb the status quo at the palace is to challenge the very foundations of these corrosive “values” that run through society. Yes, they are privileged, yes their experience doesn’t necessarily touch the everyday struggles of everyday people. But they are playing their role in our collective attempt to change and heal, bringing their experience and influence to bear where they can, and have the privilege to do so.

If everyone plays their part, faces the challenges on their own doorsteps, collectively change is evoked. Let’s value everyone’s experience and contribution, not devalue it because it doesn’t encompass everything.
Ruth Rowles
Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire

• I am slightly worried by the fact that I am exactly one day older than Jeremy Clarkson. Contrary to his assertion that everyone his age will agree with him, I rather like the Duchess of Sussex and have always found Clarkson a complete and utter ghastly twonk.
Ralph Lloyd-Jones

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Jeremy Clarkson condemned over Meghan column in the Sun
Outcry after presenter writes he is ‘dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets’

Sophie Zeldin-O'Neill

18, Dec, 2022 @6:03 PM

Article image
The Sun apologises for Jeremy Clarkson’s column on Meghan
Paper says that ‘as a publisher, we realise that with free expression comes responsibility’

Nadeem Badshah

23, Dec, 2022 @7:33 PM

Article image
The Sun will protect Jeremy Clarkson. Who will protect women who suffer violence every day? | VV Brown
In the wake of Clarkson’s diatribe, we urgently need to challenge the role the media plays in perpetuating misogynistic attitudes, says the musician and entrepreneur VV Brown

VV Brown

21, Dec, 2022 @11:45 AM

Article image
Violent misogynistic fantasies like Jeremy Clarkson’s are not new – but the Sun gleefully publishing them is | Zoe Williams
The diatribe against Meghan shows how low the rightwing media is willing to go, writes Guardian columnist Zoe Williams

Zoe Williams

19, Dec, 2022 @2:31 PM

Article image
Harry and Meghan say Jeremy Clarkson spreads ‘hate rhetoric’
Duke and Duchess of Sussex respond to TV presenter’s message apologising for article he wrote

Harry Taylor, Jamie Grierson and Tom Ambrose

16, Jan, 2023 @8:09 PM

Article image
Jeremy Clarkson column on Meghan breaks watchdog’s complaints record
Ipso receives in excess of 17,500 objections to Sun article, more than the regulator received in the whole of 2021

Jessica Elgot Deputy political editor

20, Dec, 2022 @9:34 AM

Article image
The press were never in a post-Leveson straitjacket | Letter
Letter: Leveson inquiry witness Christopher Jefferies responds to an article on legal battles between the newspapers and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex


11, Oct, 2019 @4:17 PM

Article image
Press watchdog ducks Murdoch dinner date after deluge of Clarkson complaints
Exclusive: Ipso head declines private invite after receiving 12,000 complaints about Jeremy Clarkson Sun column attacking Meghan

Jim Waterson Media editor

19, Dec, 2022 @7:40 PM

Article image
Society of Editors board member quits over Meghan racism statement
Eleanor Mills resigns over society’s failure to rebut its denial of claims about bigotry in media

Jim Waterson Media editor

26, Mar, 2021 @2:26 PM

Article image
Racism and the crisis facing the royal family | Letters
Letters: Readers react to the interview given by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Oprah Winfrey


09, Mar, 2021 @6:02 PM