Meghan Markle suffered a blow on Thursday as Amazon executives contradicted reports that they had decided to part ways with controversial star Jeremy Clarkson after he wrote damning comments about the royal in a U.K. newspaper column in December 2022.
Clarkson faced condemnation from Britain’s Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in June, after a six-month investigation found that his column published in Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun in December contained discriminatory language about Meghan’s sex.
In the column titled “One day, Harold the glove puppet will tell the truth about A Woman Talking B******,” Clarkson described his dislike of Meghan. He told readers he lay awake at night “dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”
The star has made two public apologies and said he wrote to Harry and Meghan to apologize to them personally. A spokesperson for the couple said Clarkson’s message was addressed solely to the prince.
Clarkson fronts the hit agricultural show for Amazon, Clarkson’s Farm, which debuted its second season in February, going on to become the platform’s most successful U.K. original series.
In January, entertainment industry magazine Variety reported that, following Clarkson’s controversial comments about Meghan, Amazon was set to end its working relationship with the star, who also co-hosts its The Grand Tour series.
However, at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Thursday, bosses for the Prime Video streaming arm of the business said that, though being shocked and disappointed by Clarkson’s column, the suggestion of abandoning their relationship was potentially premature.
“There are lots of discussions going on, but the thing that’s important to say is there is so much more going on to the show than Clarkson,” Head of U.K. Unscripted, Fozia Khan, said per Deadline.
While on the subject of Clarkson himself, U.K. Head of Originals, Dan Grabiner, added: “No decisions have been made… It’s a very complex topic, but we are not interrupting production of the current season.”
Grabiner added that, despite the popularity of Clarkson’s Farm, it was ultimately not all tied to the host.
“I can’t tell you what a phenomenon this show is and the impact it’s had on the agricultural community,” Grabiner said. “We get messages from farmers around the world who just love the show, saying they’ve never really seen their world reflected properly on screen before. It’s a hell of a lot bigger than Jeremy Clarkson.”
The show exclusively follows Clarkson and his journey to diversify and generate income from his 1,000-acre farm near Chadlington, Oxfordshire, England. He faces issues from local residents and bureaucrats along the way.
In July 2022, prior to his column about her stepdaughter-in-law, Queen Camilla named Clarkson as one of personally selected “countryside champions” for her guest-edited edition of Country Life magazine, marking her 75th birthday.
Inspired by the first season of his Clarkson’s Farm show, Camilla told a documentary crew following her work with the magazine that: “He made people realise how difficult farming is—I think some people see farming as cows sitting in the meadow on a beautiful day, and they don’t realise the work and the difficulties that are behind it.”
Camilla faced criticism at the time Clarkson’s column was published after images showed that she had attended a lunch with the star just three days before.
Social-media claims at the time said it was a private lunch held between Clarkson, Camilla and another Meghan critic, Piers Morgan. However, the trio had reportedly been part of a larger group of guests hosted by the former CEO of the Fortnum & Mason department store, Ewan Venters. This also included stars such as Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.
Clarkson has not discussed the December column since the IPSO ruling in June.
In January, Prince Harry referred to the star’s derogatory references to his wife as evidence of the press harassment the couple have discussed since leaving the royal family.
Speaking to Anderson Cooper ahead of the release of his Spare memoir, Harry said of the column: “Did it surprise me? No. Is it shocking? Yes. I mean, thank you for proving our point.”
Newsweek approached representatives for Amazon and Meghan Markle via email for comment.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s .
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