It was only a matter of time before The Grand Tour conjured up its first big controversy, but this time around, it doesn’t even involve Jeremy Clarkson. Co-host Richard Hammond is facing significant backlash for comments he made during the motoring show’s sixth episode last week, in which he equated eating ice cream to being gay. During the news segment of the program — called Conversation Street — Clarkson was presenting an image of a Rolls Royce interior, jokingly remarking of the chic layout: “The only problem is that in one of those, you couldn’t enjoy a chocolate Magnum ice cream.” Hammond, also marveling at the car, then took Clarkson’s opinion one step further. “It’s all right, I don’t eat ice cream,” he explained. “It’s something to do with being straight.” Clarkson and fellow co-host James May were visibly unamused by the comments, while the audience erupted in cheers. “Ice cream is a bit — you know,” Hammond continued. “There’s nothing wrong with it, but a grown man eating an ice cream — it’s that way, rather than that way … I’m right. I can’t believe you can’t see that. It’s easy. It’s in front of you.”
The exchange was swiftly met with criticism on social media, while spokespeople from multiple LGBTQ charities and human-rights campaigners have voiced their disdain. Neither Hammond nor The Grand Tour have yet issued a statement regarding the controversy.