What the heck are "special needs" anyway? I sometimes have a special need for a cheeseburger. Does that count?
"The BBC has apologised after Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson described a car as "speciale needs".
Britain's broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom, investigated after the joke, made by Clarkson about a Ferrari owned by co-host James May, provoked complaints.
The F430 Speciale "looked like a simpleton" and should have been called "Speciale Needs", Clarkson said on the BBC2 show.
Comparing it to a newer model, he said the car "was a bit wrong - that smiling front end - it looked like a simpleton - should have been called the 430 Speciale Needs".
Charities criticised the remark, with the National Autistic Society saying it perpetuated "the prejudice and bullying which people with disabilities have to cope with".
The regulator said: "While obviously intended as a joke and not aimed directly at an individual with learning difficulties, the comment could easily be understood as ridiculing people in society with a particular physical disability or learning difficulty."
It concluded that because the BBC had apologised, decided not to repeat the comment, and said it was not intended to make fun of those with special needs, the case was resolved.
Clarkson, 50, who is reported to be paid £2 million ($3 million) a year by the BBC, is used to provoking outrage with his remarks.
He sparked anger when he asked Richard Hammond if he was "mental" when he returned to the show following a near-fatal car crash and in 2008 his joke about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes led to complaints.
A year later, he called then prime minister Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot" during a press conference in Australia and, in comments made to Top Gear magazine, he accused TV bosses of being fixated with having "black Muslim lesbians" on TV to balance out the amount of white, heterosexual males.
Clarkson sure is a straight talker. He repeatedly says whatever comes into his head, regardless of whether it is "correct" or not. But his show is so popular that he gets away with it. His show is basically about cars but lots of people probably tune in for a breath of fresh air amid all the stifling British political correctness.
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