The BBC is said to have conducted an internal investigation into possible racism at Top Gear.
Danny Cohen, the Corporation’s Director of Television, ordered the inquiry following a string of racially charged controversies surrounding the show, including an outtake that appeared to show co-host Jeremy Clarkson using the N-Word, according to The Guardian.
Staff were asked whether they thought the show was racist, with the investigation also exploring whether the culture of the show made people afraid to voice their objections.
Also said to have been probed was whether the relationship between the programme’s producers and BBC management had broken down, allowing offensive material to reach the screen, and whether Clarkson and other employees were “aware of their responsibilities” as BBC stars. The investigation is believed to have taken place in June, with only a small number of people made aware of its conclusions.
Although no stranger to controversy, Top Gear has come under particularly intense criticism of late. Last week, Ofcom ruled that Clarkson had “deliberately” used offensive racial language in the show’s Burma special.
The BBC refused to comment on the reports.