The update comes six months after The Sun pulled the column from its website and archives
The Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO) has upheld a sexism complaint surrounding Jeremy Clarkson’s offensive article about Meghan Markle in a historic first.
The independent British press regularly broke the news in a statement on Friday six months after the Top Gear host was widely criticized after writing an article for The sun about his “hatred” for the Duchess of Sussex, 41, “on a cellular level.” The December 2022 column was soon removed from the outlet’s website and archives. Both The Sun and Clarkson apologized and the paper said it was “sincerely sorry”.
IPSO received more than 25,000 complaints about the piece, which was an all-time high, according to the BBC. Two of the complaints from the Fawcett Society (a gender equality and women’s rights charity) and the WILDE Foundation (a group dedicated to helping victims of abuse) were investigated. The organizations learned of the assessment in February and the press regulator shared the findings in April, a statement said. The sun requested a review of the IPSO decision in May and the outcome of the review was shared with Fawcett on 14 June. Fast forward to Friday and the media watchdog announced it was upholding complaints from the Fawcett Society and the WILDE Foundation based on sexism.
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“The Fawcett Society and WILDE Foundation have made history with our complaints against The sun for publishing Jeremy Clarkson’s vile and offensive column about the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. All women are harmed when a woman is the target of sexist reporting and misogyny is not acceptable,” Jemima Olchawski, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said in a statement. “Since its founding in 2014, IPSO has never honored a complaint about sexism – and that is changing today. This historic decision is a real opportunity for our media to catch up with what women have known for years – misogyny and hatred are unacceptable and they can no longer be dressed up as satire or jest.”
Harriet Harman, incoming president of the Fawcett Society, emphasized similar sentiments.
“Women are no longer willing to put up with the sexism that generations of women have been subjected to. Fawcett will be vigilant about sexism in the media and challenge it wherever it appears. This is a major step forward for women in the fight against sexism in the media,” said Harman.
Clarkson’s article came during the release of the Meghan and Prince Harry Netflix docuseries Harry and Meganin which the couple spoke about their struggles with press intrusions and social media threats.
RELATED: Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘Deeply Misogynist’ Article About Meghan Markle Is Removed With Apology
“I think people really need to understand, you know, when you plant a seed that’s so hateful, what it can grow out of,” the Duchess of Sussex said in an emotional moment of the show.
“Just a few days ago, I was going through our home security team’s manual, and one of the pages I happened to flip through was about online moni
toring,” she continued. “And they say, ‘If you see a tweet like that, report it immediately to the head of security.’ And it just said, “Meghan just needs to die. Someone has to kill her. Maybe it should be me.” “
“And I was like, ‘Okay.’ That’s basically what’s happening in the world because of people creating hate,” Meghan said.
In January, Clarkson, 63, claimed to have apologized to Prince Harry, 38, and to Meghan on Christmas Day, although a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said he had only contacted Harry.
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In a statement shared with PEOPLE, the spokesperson said: “On December 25, 2022, Mr Clarkson wrote exclusively to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. The contents of his correspondence were marked as private and confidential. Although a new public apology has been issued, was published 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,” it continued. “Unless any of his other pieces are 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.”
The Sussexes’ response to Clarkson’s claims came almost a week after the worldwide publication of Harry’s memoir Reserve. While discussing the book during an interview with Tom Bradby on ITV, the prince explained how comments like Clarkson’s could have dangerous consequences.
“When we talk about accountability, you know, recently, I know you know about, uh, you know, the Jeremy Clarkson article,” the Duke of Sussex said. “So not only, what he said was horrific and hurtful and cruel to my wife, but it also encourages other people in the UK and around the world, especially men, to think it’s acceptable to treat women in that way to treat. “
“You know, to use my stepmother’s words recently, there’s a global pandemic of violent violence against women,” Harry added, referring to Queen Camilla’s speech at the Buckingham Palace reception at the time to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.
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