The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have criticised the Sun’s apology over a column by Jeremy Clarkson as “nothing more than a PR stunt”.The column, in which Clarkson said he hated Meghan “on a cellular level”, received more than 20,000 complaints.A spokesperson for the couple accused the Sun of profiting off and exploiting “hate, violence and misogyny”.”A true apology would be a shift in their coverage and ethical standards for all,” they said.”Unfortunately, we’re not holding our breath.”The spokesperson described Clarkson’s comments as “dangerous”, adding: “The fact that the Sun has not contacted The Duchess of Sussex to apologise shows their intent. This is nothing more than a PR stunt.”
On Friday, the Sun said it regretted publishing the broadcaster’s column and was “sincerely sorry”.It said columnists’ opinions were their own, but, as a publisher, “with free expression comes responsibility”.The piece became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s (Ipso) most complained-about article. Clarkson asked for it to be removed from the Sun’s website.Ipso said it had received more than 17,500 complaints by 09:00 GMT on Tuesday – which rose to 20,800 by 17:00.In place of the article, the Sun’s website now has a copy of a tweet from Clarkson in which he said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt” and “would be more careful in future”.Clarkson’s column, published on 16 December, was widely criticised on social media and his daughter, Emily, said she stood against everything her father wrote about the duchess.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s media and entertainment boss, described the comments made by Clarkson as “awful” but said there were no plans to replace him as a host of the gameshow Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.The column came after the release of Prince Harry and Meghan’s Netflix six-part series, in which the couple talked about their relationship with the UK media.In the original column, Clarkson said: “At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she [Meghan] is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.
“Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way,” he added. “But what makes me despair is that younger people, especially girls, think she’s pretty cool. They think she was a prisoner of Buckingham Palace, forced to talk about nothing but embroidery and kittens.”In his tweet following the criticism, Clarkson said he had made a “clumsy” reference to a scene in Game of Thrones which “has gone down badly with a great many people”.Elsewhere in the column, Clarkson had also compared his hatred of the Duchess of Sussex with his feelings towards Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and serial killer Rose West.In response, Ms Sturgeon said Clarkson’s comments about Meghan were “deeply misogynist and just downright awful”.