Ex-top gear host Jeremy Clarkson drew criticism from social media as well as his own daughter, for his hostility towards teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg. Clarkson wrote an opinion piece on Thunberg's recent speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Clarkson not only called Thunberg a "spoilt brat" but also slammed her for her criticism directed at adults.
Emily Clarkson, Jeremy's daughter, retweeted comedian John Bishop's tweet which was in praise of Thunberg. Emily's tweet was evidently directed at her father, as it stated that she wished more middle-aged men supported Thunberg's movement. Clarkson responded to his daughter's tweet by saying that it would be better if she "learned some manners." Emily did not back down from her father's jab. She stuck by Thunberg by saying that women do not "need to be polite to make a point".
A day after Emily shared her support for the 16-year-old activist, her father wrote a column for The Sun heavily criticising Thunberg. Clarkson treats Thunberg as a pouty teenager who got too much attention. In an extremely patronising piece, Clarkson echoes Thunberg's "how dare you" but instead of her message he points out the flaws of her journey across the Atlantic.
Clarkson pointed out that Thunberg sailed on a £15m carbon fibre yacht which she did not pay for. The yacht also has a diesel engine as a back-up, which Thunberg never spoke about. Clarkson further tore down Thunberg for blaming adults for their actions. He claimed that Thunberg has benefitted from the innovations of the generations she has blamed for harming the world.
Like most other adults who seem to have a problem with Thunberg's activism, Clarkson attacks her parents for her actions.
However, unlike many other Thunberg critics, Clarkson admits that climate change is a problem which needs to be dealt with. Giving speeches and ranting about it will not prevent climate change according to the presenter. After being critical about her actions, Clarkson advices Thunberg to return to school and become a scientist so that she can bring about some real change.
It is not just Emily who has been triggered by her father's harsh opinion of the young activist. Many people on twitter pointed out Clarkson's violent outburst on the set of Top Gear over a hot meal. When show producers had failed to procure a hot meal for the ex-host, Clarkson reportedly attacked the producer and ended up getting fired. Calling a teenage activist a brat after such behaviour in his 50's seems like a case of the pot calling the kettle black.