'American Special' Complaints: BBC Response

otispunkmeyer

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Yeah but the show isn't made for you - it's made for a BRITISH audience and is also paid for by that same BRITISH audience.

If an American decides to go and download it for free from a torrent site and they don't like the content - that's your problem.
i will buy you a beer mate, i have been saying this for ages about non-paying, non-targetted viewers getting irate at some of the things clarkson and TG do.

1. you download it free from a torrent site...that alone gives you ZERO right to complain

2. the show is filmed by brits, its scripted by brits, the jokes/gags/stabs are done so us brits get a laugh (ie we will find them funny, and given that we are good with humility and being criticised, we can laugh at him attackin us too... example rover jokes or unions etc), its presented by 3 patriotic brits to a british audience in a british hanger on a british airfield in the british country side.

3. i have used the word brit/british so many times in the previous point that i hope you will understand who the target audience are and the where the ideas, on which the show is based, come from.

4. it is our (the british) 1 hour entertainment show, in which we can poke fun at all the other countries and our own and laugh merrily along with our cups of tea and hob-knob biscuits without giving a dead rats ass about who we offend.

personally i think complaining about something you got free is one of the most ungreatful and cheeky things a person can do.

you know, if you pay for a new TV and it doesnt work...you have the right to complain your ass off down at currys or dixons.

if you get the TV for nowt......and it doesnt work. well thats tough luck, you havent lost anything anyway so just get on with it.
 

otispunkmeyer

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No. If I download any content, whether from the BBC or Al Jezeera, and am offended by the content, however little, I can say so. This is the appropriate place to do so when it comes to Top Gear, so I did.

Clarkson has the right to come here and call me fat, stupid and rude; and I can, and will say that that crosses the line. If you weren't a hypocrite, you would say that your reading of my opinions is your problem, just like TomCat said.
if you got it from the BBC website thats fine. though they dont let you download TG from them.

i dont think they would take too kindly to you rocking up complaining out the TG you just got from a finalgear torrent.... they'd come to shut us down.

im sorry but i think im just gonna ignore all non-brit posts that whine about topgear from now on, because really unless you either a) pay the licence fee or b) get it legit and or directly from the BBC (website or something) you just dont have the right to be getting antsy about what is said during a show not meant for your viewing pleasure and a show you got for nothing from a torrent.
 

otispunkmeyer

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Let me ask a general question. Does anyone here actually think the BBC reads their posts and takes action based on the results of their posts?

I think it's funny that the British members think their opinions are the only ones that matter and the only ones the BBC would read on this forum, simply because they're British and forced to pay high BBC licence fees. I don't think the BBC cares one way or another about what most Brits think, let alone the rest of us. TopGear doesn't even have an official forum. Do you think they care? I don't.
i know for a fact my opinion means diddly squat to any BBC boy reading it. i would hazard a guess that most other brits here know that as well.

fact is they do care what we watch rather than what we think, and if we all tuned out of TG on a sunday night you can kiss it good bye. how mnay people watch the show from abroad means zero to them, and for some one who supposedly doesnt care you seem to be pretty angry about this.

the point i am making, and many others are..... is that although there is nothing at all to stop you coming in here and complaining about TG's content, you have barely a foot to stand on when doing so simply becuase you have in no way contributed to the funding/making etc of the show and honestly you have to accept that you and your contry are not the target audience and were probably never considered during the planning stages. you have simply leeched it from a torrent and watched it at virtually zero cost, it just gives you no real right to seriously complain about it.

the fact that the non-british here download a show that is 100% british and then somehow expect not to get a couple of jabs from the highly opinionated clarkson is just beyond me. the fact that his jabs are then taken seriously is even worse, and the fact that you are then worrried that he is painting a bad picture of your country and that every one not from your country is then believing him word for word is even more asnine.

most people are intelligent enough to know that its simply not the case and that what ever JC says really ought to be taken for what it is.... a joke.

anyone who believes the crass statements he makes, really isnt even worth the time of day in the first place and probably has a job selling pasties in greggs.
 
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LoneWolf

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Seriously Tom, how old are you? Because I'm having a hard time believing you're really 22 as your profile says.

You and others like you seem to think Non-Brits are not entitled to an opinion about the show, unless it's fan-boyish compliments, simply because we're not British. Our opinions don't matter and are "irrelevant". Yet Brits seem to think their opinions matter because they pay licence fees, basically. So what are you going to do? If you dislike a program on BBC, what are you going to do? Complain? And then what? The only real power you hold of TopGear's content is if you decided to not pay BBC licence fees and lose the channel(s). That's all you can do.
OK, where did I say that non-British opinions don't matter? Or have you just decided that what a few Brits say means they must be all of the same opinion? If you look in the actual episode discussion thread I said that ALL opinions are something which should be encouraged, and a definite positive about this site and forum.

And what is a license fee payer gonna do if they're not happy with the content of TG or any other BBC program? This has already been answered several times in this thread, but for your benefit I'll repeat it, it's really quite simple: stop watching. As you may or may not know, BBC doesn't get any revenue from advertising, it is solely publicly funded, as is TG. Basically, if TG's British audience figures collapse, there is no way the BBC can justify the show to the governors or the public, and it'll be axed, simple as that.

Oh, and BTW, if I stop paying the license fee I don't lose the channel. It's not a subscription service. If I stop paying the license fee I'm not allowed to own and use a television, simple as that. If I do want to use a telly, even if I don't want to watch any BBC channel, I still have to pay the TV license.

My point was simply that this website was made for those of us who don't have access to the TopGear and FifthGear programs. It was designed for Non-Brits, in a sense. It's an open forum where we can discuss the show and it doesn't segregate people by nationality. Just because you're British, it doesn't mean your voice carries more weight around here. That was my point. I don't like being told to shut up because the show wasn't designed for me.
Again, I NEVER told anyone to shut up, and never have. My simple and humble point to those people getting upset by last week's anti-American content was that they should bear in mind that at the end of the day, the show is designed and produced for a British audience, hence the content which some American's may or may not find offensive. If an American TV channel produced something which Brits find offensive, frankly they shouldn't watch because it's not aimed at them. I can handle that and I don't have a problem with it. If you, as an American, find something offensive in TG, feel free to continue watching, feel free to come on here and complain, but don't be too surprised if nothing in the show changes.

The only thing that can really change TG, from a fans point of view, are the audience figures, more specifically the UK audience figures.

I'm not saying this because I'm some patriotic brit (which I really am not), it's just the cold hard truth. I hope you can now see my point (not the point of 'other' brits, mind).
 

upyourego

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The only thing that can really change TG, from a fans point of view, are the audience figures, more specifically the UK audience figures.
This is a spot on point.

It might be worth noting that, after the American special last week Top Gear saw an increase of around 1 million viewers this Sunday on last week and the Wednesday repeat was also 1 million up on the previous week.

The British audience seem to have loved it.
 

LoneWolf

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This is a spot on point.

It might be worth noting that, after the American special last week Top Gear saw an increase of around 1 million viewers this Sunday on last week and the Wednesday repeat was also 1 million up on the previous week.

The British audience seem to have loved it.
Yup, and I watch both the Wednesday and BBC Three saturday repeats :D
 

upyourego

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It might be interesting to go back through the ratings over the last two series and do a cock to watch study - see if ratings increase the week after an episode with more mucking about than an episode with more cars.

It seems to be the case so far this series but there isn't enough data to do it properly.

Episode one had a lot of messing about, episode two held fairly good ratings. Episode two was more car based, episode three was down. Episode three was all adventure, episode four was up. Episode four was a good mix of both so episode five should hold its own.
 

LoneWolf

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It might be interesting to go back through the ratings over the last two series and do a cock to watch study - see if ratings increase the week after an episode with more mucking about than an episode with more cars.

It seems to be the case so far this series but there isn't enough data to do it properly.

Episode one had a lot of messing about, episode two held fairly good ratings. Episode two was more car based, episode three was down. Episode three was all adventure, episode four was up. Episode four was a good mix of both so episode five should hold its own.
Mmm, depends where you can ratings stats from. Last I checked (and this was a few years ago) BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board), company which publishes UK viewing figures, became pay only so you couldn't access the data for free, unlike before. So getting the data might be tricky (unless someone here is an industry insider?).

With regards to the fluctuation in numbers and the mucking about, wouldn't surprise me in the least if the female audience played a big part in that. I suspect the majority of blokes would stick with the show regardless of mucking about or not.
 

Anthony

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What about when Clarkson takes the piss out of aussies? Like in 'inventions that changed the world'. it's something like 'Sydney is horrible...its full of Australians'. I dont take that to offence at all. His arrogance is hilarious.

And my god...I have to say I was genuinely shocked by what happened to the crew in the America episode...like you hear about it, but you think its a sort of urban legend; taken out of proportion...but damn...

Well, turning the TV off is the second step. The first is complaining.:p

When Clarkson says that Americans are all a bunch of dumb, rude, chubsters, the appropriate remedy is not to automatically abandon the show you've loved for years, but to make your position known, and give it another shot next week.

Telling people to turn off the show is similar to the asinine position taken by so many of these American truck driving, whore seeking, mulleteers with regards to their nation in general. "Love it or leave it," they say. Turning the TV off is physically simple, but when you spend so much time downloading the show, telling all your friends about it (only to look like a dork), and watching it, with so much of it left over to enjoy, it's emotionally difficult.

So many of us Americans are put between a rock and a hard place when Clarkson makes these comments (and apparently means them). We either shut off the TV, which we don't want to do because there is still 99% of the show there to like, or we come here, to our only outlet, and let the BBC know that the joke is played. It's been played. But we still watch, hoping maybe that one day, Clarkson will abandon his venomous adjectives, if not the actual thought.

The complaints are a testament to the show's greatness.
 

MakotoS13

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MakotoS13,

I would love to reply in depth, however, I am on my PDA so I will do the best I can.

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that FinalGear's members expect change as a result of these posts. We don't. This is a place for us to talk about the show - what worked for us and what didn't. You have made your opinion abundantly clear - just as clear as your simplistic ferret-like preoccupation with shiny things.

Now we know what (and how) you think. Now kindly shut up and let us discuss this like adults.

If I throw a set of shiny keys will you go away for a while?
or maybe my seemingly supernatural ability to cut the crap and break it down to the simplest possible elements just frustrates people that want to carry on with the notion that the reason we like fast cars is because we're too old to play cops and robbers anymore. well, some of us, anyhow.

there are two kinds of people:

simple minded short sighted pompous idiots that can't understand JC's rhetoric is mostly a theatric production.

and​

the rest of us that don't mind being made fun of because we know it doesn't matter at all.

bleh, whatever. send it up a flagpole. can't wait till they review the corvette blue devil.
 

_HighVoltage_

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It was a great episode, with lots of truth in it. I'm saying it as an european living in USA. The show is intended for Brittish people, if the Americans don't like it, it's their own problem! There are tons of American motorshow suited for American public and they all review old muscle cars with new crate engines, pick-up trucks and etc.

That's what I like about Brittish people, they are still wise enough and have the guts not to be afraid of the "power" of USA. Anyways, like many others said - It's a Brittish motor show and that's the end of it.
 

TC

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Seriously Tom, how old are you? Because I'm having a hard time believing you're really 22 as your profile says.



OK, where did I say that non-British opinions don't matter? Or have you just decided that what a few Brits say means they must be all of the same opinion? If you look in the actual episode discussion thread I said that ALL opinions are something which should be encouraged, and a definite positive about this site and forum.
Yes, I'm 22. Maybe you're having a difficult time understanding my posts. Just look at otispunkmeyer's post above yours. When someone says that you have "no right" to complain about a show because you're not from the same country that made the program and they'll put you on ignore if you keep complaining, that's just a polite way of telling someone to STFU. I thought schools in Europe were so much better then America's, but apparently reading between the lines is a lost art. All you have to do is start going through these last few threads about the American special to see those same posts.

If you're not getting f**ked by the BBC, you have no right to complain.

I'm not directing my posts towards you and you alone, btw.

And what is a license fee payer gonna do if they're not happy with the content of TG or any other BBC program? This has already been answered several times in this thread, but for your benefit I'll repeat it, it's really quite simple: stop watching. As you may or may not know, BBC doesn't get any revenue from advertising, it is solely publicly funded, as is TG. Basically, if TG's British audience figures collapse, there is no way the BBC can justify the show to the governors or the public, and it'll be axed, simple as that.

Oh, and BTW, if I stop paying the license fee I don't lose the channel. It's not a subscription service. If I stop paying the license fee I'm not allowed to own and use a television, simple as that. If I do want to use a telly, even if I don't want to watch any BBC channel, I still have to pay the TV license.
Like I said, you can do exactly NOTHING. You either watch TV or you don't. Are you really going to throw your television in the garbage because TopGear offended you? No, of course not. If not a single person watched TopGear for the rest of the season, BBC would loose exactly.... nothing in revenue. Because no one is going to throw away their TV based on a single, insignificant show. They'll send in a complaint and get brushed off.

Again, I NEVER told anyone to shut up, and never have. My simple and humble point to those people getting upset by last week's anti-American content was that they should bear in mind that at the end of the day, the show is designed and produced for a British audience, hence the content which some American's may or may not find offensive. If an American TV channel produced something which Brits find offensive, frankly they shouldn't watch because it's not aimed at them. I can handle that and I don't have a problem with it. If you, as an American, find something offensive in TG, feel free to continue watching, feel free to come on here and complain, but don't be too surprised if nothing in the show changes.

The only thing that can really change TG, from a fans point of view, are the audience figures, more specifically the UK audience figures.

I'm not saying this because I'm some patriotic brit (which I really am not), it's just the cold hard truth. I hope you can now see my point (not the point of 'other' brits, mind).
I didn't really have any complaints about TopGear's American Special. My only real complaint is the show is getting over-produced and scripted. That's my only issue with it. They could devote an entire series to bashing America for all care.

But I think you need to realize where most of us Yanks are coming from. In America, I can own as many TV's as I want and watch all the broadcast TV that I want and not pay a dime. If I want special channels I can get cable or satellite. And I've NEVER heard someone say that if you don't pay for cable TV, then you have no right to complain about a TV show that plays on it. That's a cop-out argument. Also, America is diverse. The show 24 has offended many people of middle eastern decent inside the USA. We CANNOT make a show in America that ISN'T designed for the World, because people from all over the World live within America. We're accustom to this sort of thing.
 

Onden

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Yeah but the show isn't made for you - it's made for a BRITISH audience and is also paid for by that same BRITISH audience.

If an American decides to go and download it for free from a torrent site and they don't like the content - that's your problem.
I agree with you and other people who have voiced this opinion to some extent. However, the point your making doesn't precisely apply to the topic at hand. The argument at hand isn't one about the quality of the product, it's about whether the product is offensive, and that's very different.

If we (Top Gear downloaders) complained at length about something like they didn't feature enough cheap cars on the show, or the star in a reasonably priced car segments were boring, that would indeed be somewhat dubious, since we're not the intended audience and we're getting the show for free.

However, as mentioned, an offensive product is a very different matter. Say for example, some militant American nationalistic group made a bumber sticker that said "Limey's Must Die!" Obviously, British people are not the intended audience of such a product, does this then mean a British person has no right to complain about it being offensive?

I do not wish to comment on whether the show was worth getting up in arms about. I just wanted to point out that a distinction needs to be made about about complaining about the quality of the show and whether or not it's offensive. These are not the same things, and you're making a counter-argument for the wrong one.
 
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asthenia

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The NASCAR SUCKS stuff was funny. Alabama rednecks getting offended at what's obviously a joke, is 2x funny. Viewers getting offended at rednecks getting offended at a joke is 3x funny.

People here getting offended about viewers getting offended about rednecks getting offended, is 4x funny, and so on. I think we're up to what now, about 7x?

Makes me want to drive through Birmingham in an MG ZR with "BURBERRY IS FOR WANKERS" on the side.
 

Shaggy

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LOL

I think is funny to see People complaining about People that are complaining.

:lol:

I just think is ignorant how people but a complete nation in a drawer.
Remember how the Germans shoot even the British complained about other shows! (?)
 
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Karoug

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I guess there really is a reason why the brits where put on a seperate Island... :p
 

MakotoS13

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However, as mentioned, an offensive product is a very different matter. Say for example, some militant American nationalistic group made a bumber sticker that said "Limey's Must Die!" Obviously, British people are not the intended audience of such a product, does this then mean a British person has no right to complain about it being offensive?
THATS the problem with out country. we've got vegetarians whining about how meat is made, politicians complaining about liars in office, and movie stars who want to tell normal people how to live their lives. its ALL a bunch of hypocrisy. the only people who DO complain are the ones that never have to deal with a product anyhow (i.e. the people vs marilyn manson, NRA, southpark, rock and roll, and tons of other stuff that really doesn't affect their lives in any kind of real way).

there is always going to be someone with sand in their vagina about something. if it isn't the right wing its the left wing if it isn't a wing its the french. whatever.

the problem with this country is that everybody is so caught up with smelling their own buttholes that they've forgetten the difference between stuff you don't like or disagree with and those things that are truly offensive.

yes, i do find europe's pompous holier than thou stance enough to make me vomit at times but hell, thats life. people suck. people are bastard covered bastards with bastard filling. the sooner everybody figures out that a lot in life will definately piss them off the sooner it'll all be a whole lot better.
 

LoneWolf

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Right Tom, I guess I'm gonna have to take this slowly so that I can clearly get my point(s) across to you.

Yes, I'm 22. Maybe you're having a difficult time understanding my posts. Just look at otispunkmeyer's post above yours. When someone says that you have "no right" to complain about a show because you're not from the same country that made the program and they'll put you on ignore if you keep complaining, that's just a polite way of telling someone to STFU. I thought schools in Europe were so much better then America's, but apparently reading between the lines is a lost art. All you have to do is start going through these last few threads about the American special to see those same posts.
If anyone's having difficulty understanding anything, I'm afraid it's you. Listen, when you quote a person and respond straight after that quote, it is taken as meaning that you are directly responding to that person. If you go back to your previous message you'll see you quoted me (twice, and Otispunkmeyer once), and thus to any rational person each quote would be taken as a response to the individual who is being quoted. And if you go back and look at my subsequent response, I only quoted the parts of your message which were directed at me (or percieved to be directed at me). Otispunkmeyer's may have posted something before my post. So? Doesn't mean I share the exact same opinions as him and neither does it mean I am responding on his behalf (or vice versa).

I think I've mentioned this before but I think the problem is you might be clumping together the opinions of a group of brit's and automatically assuming every brit is of the same opinion. Well, just for purposes of clarity, in future if you would like to respond and quote my posts, please only respond to things which I actually type and don't use other people's quote in your counter argument against mine.

It's either this that your having problem with, or difficulty in using quoting appropriately. Hopefully I've clarified your confusion on this matter.

Like I said, you can do exactly NOTHING. You either watch TV or you don't. Are you really going to throw your television in the garbage because TopGear offended you? No, of course not. If not a single person watched TopGear for the rest of the season, BBC would loose exactly.... nothing in revenue. Because no one is going to throw away their TV based on a single, insignificant show. They'll send in a complaint and get brushed off.
You don't appear to be reading either my posts or any of the other posts which have already addresses this issue several times over. Let me repeat myself. The BBC is a publicly funded organisation, which has to justify it's expenditure on the viewer figures it get's. Hence, lots of viewers for a programme = continue that program. Zero viewers for that programme = axe the programme. So yes, zero figures for TG won't make a difference to the BBC's budget, but in very simply terms, if Top Gear get's zero ratings, it's dead. As it stands, I'm loving TG at the moment so I'll continue to watch, plus the fact that the American road trip episode got one of the highest ratings for TG gives the BBC and TG encouragement that, by and large the British public loved the episode and it's American bashing humour.

If Top Gear get's zero American ratings, it will still continue. If TG get's zero Swedish ratings, it will still continue. If TG get's zero Autralian ratings, it will still continue. If TG get's zero Chinese ratings (and it probably does!) it will still continue. But if TG get's zero British ratings, it will not continue (at best it's fate will be sealed).

I hope this is clear enough for you now and I don't have to repeat myself.

p.s. Just one more 'repeat' to avoid any further confusions, as I have already said this does not mean I don't support people's right to complain about the show here.
 

TC

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Right Tom, I guess I'm gonna have to take this slowly so that I can clearly get my point(s) across to you.

If anyone's having difficulty understanding anything, I'm afraid it's you. Listen, when you quote a person and respond straight after that quote, it is taken as meaning that you are directly responding to that person. If you go back to your previous message you'll see you quoted me (twice, and Otispunkmeyer once), and thus to any rational person each quote would be taken as a response to the individual who is being quoted. And if you go back and look at my subsequent response, I only quoted the parts of your message which were directed at me (or percieved to be directed at me). Otispunkmeyer's may have posted something before my post. So? Doesn't mean I share the exact same opinions as him and neither does it mean I am responding on his behalf (or vice versa).

I think I've mentioned this before but I think the problem is you might be clumping together the opinions of a group of brit's and automatically assuming every brit is of the same opinion. Well, just for purposes of clarity, in future if you would like to respond and quote my posts, please only respond to things which I actually type and don't use other people's quote in your counter argument against mine.

It's either this that your having problem with, or difficulty in using quoting appropriately. Hopefully I've clarified your confusion on this matter.
Jeez man, I didn't realize I was being too complicated for you. Most people can understand when they're being responded to about someone else's comments.

How long have you been posting on forums? I'm having this discussion with you, but I'm talking about other people. You can see it in my posts. I'm not going to quote each and every person who said it and respond with the same exact post, that's just a waste of time. So I'm talking about it with you, in general. If you do not want to talk about it, quit replying to my posts.

The fact is I've heard many Brits make similar comments about paying BBC fee's and many others quoting their agreement. So I'm responding to them. It's like when Jeremy talks about fat Americans, he's not making the claim that every single American is fat, he's just speaking in general about the fat ones.

You don't appear to be reading either my posts or any of the other posts which have already addresses this issue several times over. Let me repeat myself. The BBC is a publicly funded organisation, which has to justify it's expenditure on the viewer figures it get's. Hence, lots of viewers for a programme = continue that program. Zero viewers for that programme = axe the programme. So yes, zero figures for TG won't make a difference to the BBC's budget, but in very simply terms, if Top Gear get's zero ratings, it's dead.
Riiiggghhht. And in your perfect little world, it would work just as you say. But getting back to reality, the BBC decides if a show goes or stays. However they decide this is up to them. Sure, money is a motivating factor... sometimes. But with any decrease in ratings, other shows will see an increase. People tend to change channels, rather then turning the TV off. The BBC won't loose money, so they just need to decide how to best serve the viewing public, if they care enough to do even that. TopGear has been around for a long time and it's always had viewers, so it's always stayed around. If TopGear lost viewers, the BBC would probably choose another time-slot for it and give one of their other higher rated shows TG's old-time slot. New shows are expensive to start, so in terms of business and finance, it's smarter to keep an existing show around, even if it's not getting the high ratings anymore. But the fact remains, the BBC doesn't have to worry about loosing money, so any contracts they may have signed with Clarkson, Hammond, and May would be more costly to break then they're willing to spend. If TopGear has absolutely zero viewers (impossible), it would be cancelled sooner or later, but not right away.
 

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Riiiggghhht. And in your perfect little world, it would work just as you say. But getting back to reality, the BBC decides if a show goes or stays. However they decide this is up to them. Sure, money is a motivating factor... sometimes. But with any decrease in ratings, other shows will see an increase. People tend to change channels, rather then turning the TV off. The BBC won't loose money, so they just need to decide how to best serve the viewing public, if they care enough to do even that. TopGear has been around for a long time and it's always had viewers, so it's always stayed around. If TopGear lost viewers, the BBC would probably choose another time-slot for it and give one of their other higher rated shows TG's old-time slot. New shows are expensive to start, so in terms of business and finance, it's smarter to keep an existing show around, even if it's not getting the high ratings anymore. But the fact remains, the BBC doesn't have to worry about loosing money, so any contracts they may have signed with Clarkson, Hammond, and May would be more costly to break then they're willing to spend. If TopGear has absolutely zero viewers (impossible), it would be cancelled sooner or later, but not right away.
The BBC would drop it in an instant if it's viewers dropped sharply. They would let it run through till the end of the current series then that would be it. They may allow one more series to see if it could recover. A good example of this is Top Gear when it was dropped in its old format. Chances are Channel 4 or ITV would try and take it up but the Beeb would have no problem letting it go.
 
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