Richard Hammond defends ‘joke’ that ice cream is only for gays
Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has defended a joke he made almost a year ago that ice cream is only for gay people.
He has also said he questions why LGBT people feel the need to come out publicly in the media.
The popular Top Gear and The Grand Tour presenter made the bizarre remarks in the show’s boxing Day episode.
Fellow host Jeremy Clarkson commented that you couldn’t enjoy a Magnum while inside a Rolls Royce, pointing to a photo of its pristine interior.
Hammond then responded by saying: “It’s alright, I don’t eat ice cream”.
He added: “It’s something to do with being straight.”
A senior officer in the British Army since cited the joke in a warning that that LGBT people in the armed forces still face “ingrained prejudice”.
But now, speaking to the Times, Hammond has defended the joke almost a year after it was made.
He tells the Times: “Look, anyone who knows me knows I wasn’t being serious, that I’m not homophobic. Love is love, whatever the sex of the two people in love.
“It may be because I live in a hideously safe and contained middle-class world, where a person’s sexuality is not an issue. But when I hear of people in the media coming out, I think, why do they even feel the need to mention it?
“It is so old-fashioned to make a big deal of it. That isn’t even an interesting thing to say at a dinner party any more.”
Olly Alexander of Years and Years, slammed Hammond at the time.
He wrote: “Really tho no wonder some straight guys are fucked up they can’t even have ice cream.”
And according to Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders, LGBT+ soldiers and staff face “discrimination” and “bullying” whilst serving.
The commander of the Field Army and a three-star general, speaks out in an open letter to the LGBT+ community in the British military.
In it, he hits out at former Top Gear host Richard Hammond for ‘joking’ that eating ice cream is “gay”.
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The general writes: “Under fire, no one cares if someone is black or white, gay or straight, because they value the individual for who he or she is, what he or she can do, and because they are so utterly dependent on him or her. But this experience is not universal.
“Away from the cauldron of operations or training, lazy or ingrained prejudice remains, ranging from outright bullying and discrimination, to the sort of casual but hurtful remark that refers to ice cream as ‘gay’.”
Back in 2015, PinkNews revealed that the number of new recruits in the British Army to have disclosed that they are gay since new rules came into effect in 2014 was less than five.
Earlier that year PinkNews caught up with the Chief of Defence Personnel for the armed forces, Andrew Gregory, who discussed issues faced by trans people serving on the front lines, and said that pockets of homophobia still exist.
In January 2015, an officer in the British Army opened up about being transgender.