One of Britain's biggest unions has demanded that the BBC sack popular "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson for saying public sector workers on strike should be executed in front of their families.
Agence France-Press recounts the incident:
When asked on the show on Wednesday what he thought of the mass strike in protest at changes to public sector pensions, Clarkson said, to laughter from the studio audience: "I would have them all shot.
The presenters grimaced as he went on: "I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.
"How dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt-edged pensions while the rest of us have to work for a living?"
After his comments drew more than 4,700 complaints, including from prominent politicians, like UK Opposition Leader Ed Milliband, who declared them "absolutely disgraceful and disgusting," Clarkson delivered an on-air apology.
Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly said: "[It was] a silly thing to say — I'm sure he didn't mean it."
"If BBC and I have caused any offense, I'm quite happy to apologies alongside them," Clarkson said, after a day of spiraling outrage, Australia's Nine Network reported.
The BBC apologized for the remarks Thursday
UNISON, meantime, which represents more than one million public sector workers, said Clarkson should be fired immediately.
The union said it had sought legal advice over Clarkson's comments, made on "The One Show" after more than a million workers went on strike on Wednesday against austerity measures.
Assistant general secretary Karen Jennings said Clarkson had spoken "almost like [late Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi would have spoken about demonstrators. It's an incitement to hatred and we are seeking legal advice."
Clarkson's show "Top Gear" reaps millions of pounds a year for the BBC.
Clarkson's jokey machismo and gibes about environmentalists, cyclists and the perceived forces of political correctness are part of the show's formula for success, but have landed "Top Gear" in trouble before.
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