UK newspaper The Sun on Friday explained why it has removed a column from Jeremy Clarkson that slammed Meghan Markle.
Clarkson’s “comment article,” which published last Friday, “provoked a strong response and let to a large number of complaints to IPSO, the independent press regulator,” the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper wrote in a post on its site today labeled “Clarification.”
“Columnists’ opinions are their own, but as a publisher, we realise that with free expression comes responsibility,” it added. “We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry.
“The article has been removed from our website and archives.”
In the column, Clarkson wrote that Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, should be “made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!” and throw lumps of excrement at her” — a reference to a famous walk of atonement scene involving Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) in Season 5 of Game of Thrones. In the aftermath, the Clarkson column has become IPSO’s most complained about article of all time.
Clarkson, the longtime Brit TV personality best know for co-hosting Top Gear, apologized for the comments earlier in this week, saying the reference had “gone down badly with a great many people.” He added that he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt.:
The Sun and British pubcaster ITV, which is home to the Clarkson-hosted edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, has been facing pressure from dozens of UK MPs over the row. On Tuesday, ITV content boss Kevin Lygo said Clarkson would remain as Millionaire host.
Clarkson also hosts Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon’s Prime Video.
Here’s The Sun‘s full statement today:
In last Saturday’s Sun, Jeremy Clarkson wrote a comment article about the Duchess of Sussex.
It provoked a strong response and led to a large number of complaints to IPSO, the independent press regulator.
In a tweet earlier this week, Jeremy said he had made a “clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones”, which had “gone down badly with a great many people” and he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt.”
He also said he will be more careful in future.
Columnists’ opinions are their own, but as a publisher, we realise that with free expression comes responsibility.
We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry.
The article has been removed from our website and archives.
The Sun has a proud history of campaigning, from Help for Heroes to Jabs Army and Who Cares Wins, and over 50 years of working in partnership with charities, our campaigns have helped change Britain for the better.
Working with our readers, The Sun has helped to bring about new legislation on domestic abuse, provided beds in refuges, closed harmful loopholes in the law and empowered survivors of abuse to come forward and seek help.
We will continue to campaign for good causes on behalf of our readers in 2023.