Amazon Prime customers are cancelling their subscriptions after it axed Jeremy Clarkson for his comments on Meghan Markle – as the head of ITV issued a veiled warning over his future as the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The streaming service is set to ‘cut ties’ with the 62-year-old following his controversial column on the Duchess of Sussex, sources told Variety.
While hit shows The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm will still launch later this year, the presenter won’t appear in any new shows on Prime Video beyond 2024, it is claimed.
The reported decision by Amazon – who have worked with Clarkson since 2015 – has prompted fans to cancel their £8.99 a month memberships.
Amazon customers saying they are cancelling their subscriptions after Clarkson was apparently axed
David Morgan said: ‘I see Amazon have suspended Jeremy Clarkson over his comments on Meghan Markle.
‘I actually don’t have a strong opinion on that, nor am I a huge fan of Jeremy Clarkson. I do, however, care about free speech. I have cancelled my Prime membership after three years.’
Another customer, Tom, said: ‘We won’t be buying anything else through Amazon and Prime will be cancelled as soon as we’ve watched Clarkson’s Farm.’
Clarkson sparked controversy after a column in The Sun last month in which he said he ‘hated’ Meghan Markle and wanted to see her paraded through the streets naked while people throw ‘excrement’ at her.
He later said this was referencing a public shaming scene from the fantasy TV series Game of Thrones and wrote to the Sussexes on Christmas Day to apologise – although the couple later claimed his letter only addressed Harry directly.
Clarkson’s position at ITV also looks to be at risk after its CEO, Carolyn McCall, strongly criticised his comments yesterday.
In a letter to MP John Nicolson, the 61-year-old said his views are ‘in no way endorsed by ITV’, adding that his role as host of the show ‘does not provide a platform for his opinions’.
The streaming service is set to ‘cut ties’ with the 62-year-old following his controversial column on the Duchess of Sussex
Alec Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said he strongly criticised Clarkson’s comments but believed ITV should accept his apology and allow him to stay at the channel.
‘He’s got every right to criticise Meghan and say he doesn’t like her, but I think you need to be careful about your words and not talk about acts of violence – especially against women,’ the Tory politician told MailOnline.
‘However, ITV should take the apology and leave it there. Let’s not jump on a bandwagon and say he’s got to go.
‘You’ve got to be careful you’re not chasing the woke agenda audience. If you listen to talk shows you’ll hear lots of people don’t like Meghan and Harry – although of course that opinion should never be expressed in a violent way.
‘If you’re going start sacking people and have a witch hunt every time someone says something you don’t like you’ll quickly end up with a lot of problems.’
Toby Young, General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, said: ‘I hope ITV isn’t thinking about sacking Clarkson because it has received a complaint from the Duchess of Sussex.
‘Meghan has form in this area, having complained about Piers Morgan’s comments on Good Morning Britain about her and Harry’s Oprah Winfrey interview. It was that complaint that prompted ITV to demand an apology from Piers and that in turn contributed to his decision to leave the channel.
‘I can easily imagine the Duchess in her mansion in Montecito throwing crockery across the room and screaming ”off with his head” every time a journalist criticises her, but I’m shocked that ITV would respond to this demand by saying, ”Yes, m’lady.”
‘This is cancel culture at its most brutal, destroying a person’s livelihood because they’ve said something perfectly lawful, but which someone who thinks of themselves as a member of an oppressed minority finds offensive.’
Ms McCall wrote a letter to Mr Nicolson in response to correspondence he sent asking if Clarkson’s comments went against ITV’s Statement of Programme Policy and Social Purpose Strategy.
In the response, which was published by entertainment website Deadline, did not say whether he would lose his job, but said concerns about his comments were ‘completely understandable’.
She said ‘ITV has no editorial control over Jeremy Clarkson’s independent journalistic output in The Sun or anywhere else he chooses to publish’.
Jeremy Clarkson (pictured), host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, issued an apology for remarks he made about Meghan Markle on Tuesday
Carolyn McCall, boss of ITV, has written in a letter there is ‘no place’ for Clarkson’s views at the channel
‘Everyone at ITV is very aware of our responsibilities as a Public Service Broadcaster and I’d like to be clear that the comments made were Jeremy Clarkson’s own and are in no way endorsed by ITV,’ she wrote.
‘There is no place on ITV for the comments made in that article.
She added that he was not an ITV employee and his role as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? does not ‘given hi a platform for his opinions’.
Piers Morgan left ITV’s Good Morning Britain in March 2021 after saying he ‘didn’t believe a word’ Meghan Markle had told Oprah Winfrey about her mental health in her bombshell sitdown.
Mr Morgan later revealed Meghan ‘wrote directly to Dame Carolyn the night before I was forced out, demanding my head on a plate’.
The executive later claimed she ‘vigorously defended’ Mr Morgan to Ofcom after it received thousands of complaints against him.
But the presenter dismissed her comments by writing on Twitter, ‘so why did I have to leave?’ next to a laughing emoji.
Earlier this week ITV said it will have ‘no further commitments’ with Clarkson after the next series of the show airs this year, sparking suggestions he had lost the gig which earns him around £3million per year.
Bosses refused to comment when contacted by MailOnline about the reports.
Harry and Meghan refused to accept Jeremy Clarkson’s Christmas Day apology
Sussexes cheerleader Omid Scobie today tweeted a statement from a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan accused Clarkson of ‘spreading dangerous conspiracy theories, and misogyny’.
It read: ‘On December 25, 2022, Mr. Clarkson wrote solely to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.
‘The contents of his correspondence were marked Private and Confidential.
‘While a new public apology has been issued today by Mr. Clarkson, what remains to be addressed is his long standing pattern of writing articles that spread hate rhetoric, dangerous conspiracy theories, and misogyny.
‘Unless each of his other pieces were also written ‘in a hurry’, as he states, it is clear that this is not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared in hate.’
But when asked directly if Clarkson would be presenting the show, a spokesperson said ITV ‘has a further series contractually commissioned and due to film’, adding that there was ‘no further commissioning commitments beyond that currently.’
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Media and Entertainment, previously said in December that he had ‘no control’ over what Clarkson wrote in his columns but did go as far as asking him to apologise.
Asked if Clarkson would be kept on as host of Millionaire, Mr Lygo said: ‘Yes, at the moment we are. What he says in the papers we have no control of.’
Clarkson is thought to be paid about £3million a year to present the hit quiz show, having taken over from Chris Tarrant in 2018.
But the Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff reports that he was due to film celebrity special editions of the show next month, before they were pushed back due to ‘scheduling issues’.
The studio, crew and celebrities were all booked to attend the Dock 10 studio in Manchester and arrangements for the programmes – which would have raised money for charity – were finalised.
However at the end of last week, the production company told participants that filming had been postponed due to ‘scheduling issues.’
An email said: ‘Owing to some movement in the ITV schedules, we’re now unable to record the planned Celebrity specials until later this year.’
Fans of the 62-year-old fear he is being ‘cancelled in front of our eyes’ after it was reported that Amazon Prime is set to stop producing the presenter’s shows – Clarkson’s Farm and The Grand Tour – next year, the latter of which earns him at least £10million annually.
On Monday night, a virtual press conference to promote the second season of Clarkson’s Farm was cancelled by Amazon at the last-minute, although the series will still be available for streaming from February 10.
Clarkson wrote in the Sun that he ‘hated’ Meghan Markle (pictured) and wanted to see her paraded through the streets naked while people throw ‘excrement’ at her
In his apology, Clarkson had admitted that Amazon executives were ‘incandescent’ following his column, with reports suggesting the company will be unlikely to work with him in the near future.
It comes as some critics implored the Sussexes to ‘move on’ from the ‘drama’, suggesting their quest for the ‘total humiliation’ of Clarkson by publicly rejecting his apologies goes against the ‘compassion and love’ that they so often preach.
Ann Widdecombe was among the commentators who rallied round Clarkson yesterday, as she blasted ‘cancel culture’, adding that she has ‘a very low opinion of people who reject apologies’, in a clear criticism of Harry and Meghan.
However others branded the presenter’s contrition insincere, accusing the TV star of failing to address the offence caused by his column and of being motivated by his own lucrative career interests.
The piece, in which Clarkson said he dreamed of the duchess being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed, became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s (Ipso) most complained-about article after its publication.
The Sun later apologised and said it regretted the publication of the column which last week surpassed more than 25,000 Ipso complaints.
In a lengthy statement on his verified Instagram account, The Grand Tour presenter earlier said he emailed the couple on Christmas Day to say his language in the column had been ‘disgraceful’ and he was ‘profoundly sorry’.
Piers Morgan walking off ITV following a row with weatherman Alex Beresford over his comments about Meghan
ITV’s ‘leftie luvvie’ £900,000-a-year CEO Carolyn McCall who defended Love Island and Jeremy Kyle – but not Piers Morgan
Left-leaning former Guardian boss Dame Carolyn McCall joined ITV as chief executive on £900,000-a-year in January 2018.
As well as earning a near seven figure salary, she is eligible for an annual bonus to a maximum of 180 per cent of salary, a long-term incentive plan up to 265 per cent of salary and a generous 15 per cent pension allowance.
The mother-of-three – one of just seven female FTSE 100 bosses – was with easyJet for seven years after previously running the Guardian Media Group.
Gordon Brown and Labour handed her an OBE for services to women in business in 2008 and won a Damehood in 2016 while boss of budget airline easyJet.
At the time rival Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary dismissed her as ‘some old media luvvie’ due to her lack of airline experience.
Dame Carolyn, worked her way up in the media company after starting as a research planner and became a close ally of former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.
The pair built up the paper’s website but were criticised for failing to make it profitable.
The pair built up the paper’s website but were criticised for failing to make it profitable.
Since joining ITV she has also been rocked by a series of scandals, including the cancellation of the Jeremy Kyle Show after a suicide.
She was dragged before MPs last year (pictured) and insisted guests gave ‘informed consent’ and knew the nature of the programme they were appearing on.
When accused of broadcasting a ‘human freak show’, she said: ‘It was adults, they went through a screening and vetting process, they went through quite a lot of hoops before they went on that show.’
Ms McCall also said she would be comfortable with her children appearing on Love Island.
She left easyJet after Adam Crozier stepped down as ITV boss at the end of June of 2017. Ms McCall has also held a non-executive director post at Burberry, sat on the board of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is a Trustee at the Royal Academy.
He said: ‘One of the strange things I’ve noticed in recent times is that whenever an MP or a well-known person is asked to apologise for something, no matter how heartfelt or profound that apology may be, it’s never enough for the people who called for it in the first place.
‘So I’m going to try and buck the trend this morning with an apology for the things I said in a Sun column recently about Meghan Markle. I really am sorry. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head. This is me putting my hands up. Its a mea culpa with bells on.
‘Usually, I read what I’ve written to someone else before filing, but I was home alone on that fateful day, and in a hurry. So when I’d finished, I just pressed Send. And then, when the column appeared the next day, the landmine exploded.’
Clarkson described the moment he picked up a copy of the newspaper to ‘see what all the fuss was about.’
He continued: ‘We’ve all been there, I guess. In that precise moment when we suddenly realise we’ve completely messed up. You are sweaty and cold at the same time. And your head pounds. And you feel sick. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It was horrible.
‘I knew what had happened straight away. I’d been thinking of a scene in Games Of Thrones, but I’d forgotten to mention this. So it looked like I was actually calling for revolting violence to rain down on Meghan’s head.
‘I was very angry with myself because in all those controversial days on Top Gear, when I was accused of all sorts of things, it was very rarely sexism.
‘I was mortified and so was everyone else. My phone went mad. Very close friends were furious. Even my own daughter took to Instagram to denounce me.’
Clarkson’s statement went on to say ITV and Amazon, which airs Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and The Grand Tour respectively, were ‘incandescent’.
He said: ‘The Sun quickly apologised and I tried to explain myself. But still, there were calls for me to be sacked and charged with a hate crime.
‘More than 60 MPs demanded action to be taken. ITV, who make Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Amazon, who make the Farm Show and the Grand Tour, were incandescent.
‘I therefore wrote to everyone who works with me saying how sorry I was and then on Christmas morning, I emailed Harry and Meghan in California to apologise to them too.
‘I said I was baffled by what they had been saying on TV but that the language I’d used in my column was disgraceful and that I was profoundly sorry.’
Clarkson said he’ll ‘try’ to be ‘interesting and vigilant’ at the same time in future columns.
His statement concluded: ‘Over the last 30 years, I have written very nearly five thousand newspaper and magazine columns, so it was inevitable that one day, I’d do a Harry Kane and sky one of the damn things. Which is what happened with the piece about Meghan.
‘So can I move on now? Not sure. It’s hard to be interesting and vigilant at the same time. You never hear peals of laughter coming from a health and safety seminar. But I promise you this, I will try.’
Prince Harry branded the article about his wife Meghan Markle ‘horrific, hurtful and cruel’
In a lengthy statement on his verified Instagram account, The Grand Tour presenter said he emailed the couple on Christmas Day to say his language in the column had been ‘disgraceful’ and he was ‘profoundly sorry’
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