The men on Top Gear are showing their support for LGBTQ people.
Top Gear is one of the most popular reality shows on British television. The series reviews cars by hosting special races, motoring-based challenges, celebrity timed laps, and more. And now the show has announced, just in time for Pride month, the release of an episode with a special rainbow tint.
But this isn’t just some shallow Pride-themed episode without any real support or message behind it. For, you see, the episode in question was recorded in Brunei.
Back in March, the country of Brunei announced it would be going forward with a violent update to its laws. The country announced that anyone caught engaging in adultery and gay sex would be punished with death by stoning. The update to the penal code also included punishing theft with amputation of the right hand for a first offense and the left foot for a second one.
Several celebrities and businesses then boycotted the nation in protest of these laws. And it appears Top Gear was among them. It just took a while for us to see it.
The special Pride episode was filmed in March and within Brunei. The tv show’s production team decided to paint cars with rainbow colors before driving them within the nation in protest.
Top Gear gives the cars used in Brunei episode a rainbow makeover to show LGBT solidarity https://t.co/tVoPERzBfj
— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) June 17, 2019
In addition, the BBC says that the show’s hosts, former cricket player Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff and comedian Paddy McGuinness, would have rejected the film plans in Brunei if the production hadn’t started before Brunei made their announcement.
“This was an issue that both Freddie and Paddy felt very strongly about and asked to address in the show,” a spokesman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“They would not have traveled to Brunei had these new laws been announced or implemented prior to departure.”
It seems that having accepting hosts on the show has created significant change. The show used to get complaints when former host Jeremy Clarkson frequently made homophobic comments on air. Now, the hosts are openly asking production to support LGBTQ people. As for Clarkson, he recently received criticism for making homophobic comments on Amazon original show, The Grand Tour.
The episode with these rainbow-colored cars is set to air in July. And thanks to protests done by hotel companies and celebrities like Elton John, George Clooney, Flintoff, and McGuinness, Brunei officially called off its violent and homophobic penal code update.