Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson cleared over comment that ‘strikers should be shot’

"Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson did not breach UK broadcasting rules when he said of striking public servants that he "would have them all shot," Britain's media regulator Ofcom has ruled.

(GlobalPost reports: Jeremy Clarkson of "Top Gear" in trouble again: "execute" comments draw demands that BBC fire him)

Clarkson said in December, when asked on BBC program "The One Show" what he thought of public sector workers taking part in a 24-hour walkout — part of Britain's biggest public sector strikes for 30 years — that he "would have them all shot."

"I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families," he continued. "I mean how dare they go on strike when they have these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed, while the rest of us have to work for a living?"

Sky News ran a full transcript of the interview.

The regulator said that "Top Gear" viewers should be familiar with the host's "provocative and outspoken nature," The Guardian reported.

Clarkson's jokey machismo, as the Huffington post put it, has landed "Top Gear" in trouble before (Sky News has compiled a number of his more controversial statements here), but the show reportedly reaps millions of pounds a year for the BBC.   

"It would have been clear to most viewers that his comments were not an expression of seriously held beliefs or views that would be literally interpreted," Ofcom said in a letter to the union Unison, which had lodged a complaint about the broadcast, the BBC reported.

Ofcom added that Clarkson's remarks on "The One Show" — which reportedly attracted 31,000 complaints to the BBC and 736 to Ofcom — were "potentially offensive" but "were not at all likely to encourage members of the public … to act on them in any way."

A Unison spokesperson told The Guardian that: "As Ofcom acknowledges, a lot of people — including many Unison members working in the public sector — were outraged by Jeremy Clarkson's comments.

"We felt it was important to make their voices heard."

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